A box of frogs…

For years now, a fungus has been devastating the amphibian species by clogging up their skins and suffocating them.

As far as we know, this fungus is a natural occurrence and has evolved like all life on the planet – through chance (although it is probably more interesting for my argument if we afforded it ‘divine’ status).

I recently learned that some people are collecting the last remaining exemplars of various frog species and trying to save them. Several questions immediately posed themselves.

Who is paying for this exercise? Why? What do they hope to achieve?

When it is remembered that over ninety percent of all life forms that have ever existed on this planet are now extinct, the demise of frogs can be seen as a natural event. If a disease wipes out a species then it can be argued that the disease is the fitter and more adaptable life form. Who are we to argue with that? So trying to save a species, especially one that is unable to look after itself, seems like deluded folly. If no cure can be found for the fungus, are the frogs to live in isolation tents with their only visitors being natural history celebrities (and their film crews). Is it not the height of arrogance to suppose that humans can save a species when we are heading for disaster ourselves?

Don’t get me wrong, I like frogs, that’s why I have a pond in my garden. But if some things are meant to be…

Actually, I think I know why these people are trying to save the frogs.

Growth. It is the force which drives all life. If the health of an environment can be measured by the diversity and profusion of species within it, then human vanity would like to imagine that this particular moment in earth’s history has the greatest number of species ever living at any point in time. The humans that care, don’t like to think that species are disappearing during their watch.

Except aren’t several species vanishing every single day with us in charge. And are frogs preferable to fungus?

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