This Scientist Had A Front-Row Seat To An Amphibian Die Off : Short Wave While doing field work in Central America in the 1990's, biologist Karen Lips noticed the frogs she was studying were disappearing. Scientists in other parts of the world had documented the same thing - frogs and amphibians dying at an alarming rate. For years no one knew what was killing the animals until, finally, a bit of good luck helped solve the mystery. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

An Eyewitness to Extinction

An Eyewitness to Extinction

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It took decades for scientists to figure out what was causing the massive disappearances of amphibians all around the world. Brian Gratwicke/Flickr hide caption

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Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

It took decades for scientists to figure out what was causing the massive disappearances of amphibians all around the world.

Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

While doing field work in Central America in the 1990's, biologist Karen Lips noticed the frogs she was studying were disappearing. Scientists in other parts of the world had documented the same thing - frogs and amphibians dying at an alarming rate. For years no one knew what was killing the animals until, finally, a bit of good luck helped solve the mystery. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Thank you to William Duellman and the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for letting us use their recordings of the Isthmohyla calypsa. Composer Alexandra Gardner, alexandragardner.net, contributed to this episode with her piece 'Onice'. Former public radio reporter and current children's book author Mary Losure, marylosure.com, kindly let us use her recordings from Fortuna, Panama.