Frogs and mining represent a far stretch. But a posting at mga Kakaiban Kwento is fascinating enough to reconsider the issue. In a remote part of Indonesia this is happening:
Bickford and Gillespie said the frog’s discovery adds urgency to the need to protect its river habitat, which in recent years has become polluted due to widespread illegal logging and gold mining. Once pristine waters are now brown and clogged with silt,they said. “The gold mining is completely illegal and small scale. But when there are thousands of them on the river, it really has a huge impact,” Bickford said. “Pretty soon the frogs will run out of the river.”
The frog is interesting and worth saving in my opinion for these reasons:
…..the species is the first frog known to science without lungs and joins a short list of amphibians with this unusual trait, including a few species of salamanders and a wormlike creature known as a caecilian.
“These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.
“They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said, referring to the character from Star Wars. “They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs.”
Bickford surmised that the frog had evolved to adapt to its difficult surroundings, in which it has to navigate cold, fast-moving streams that are rich in oxygen.
“It’s an extreme adaptation that was probably brought about by these fast-moving streams,” Bickford said, adding that it probably needed to reduce its buoyancy in order to keep from being swept down the mountainous rivers.
Just how we do anything to preserve this frog is beyond me. Maybe a big, international mining company should go in an clear out the small scale operators? Or maybe not?