Here are a few key reasons why the golden frog is extinct:
- Habitat loss - Deforestation and human development have destroyed much of the tropical rainforest habitat where the golden frog was found. This includes areas in Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Without its natural habitat, the species could not survive.
- Invasive species - The introduction of non-native predatory fish, as well as chytrid fungus, were detrimental to golden frog populations. The fungus in particular spread quickly and killed off many frogs.
- Climate change - Rising temperatures are thought to have enabled the chytrid fungus to thrive at higher elevations where the golden frog was found. This accelerated the frog's decline.
- Pollution - Pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollution have been found in the remote mountain streams where the golden frog lived. This likely impacted the species' health and survival.
- Small population size - The golden frog already had a highly restricted range and existed in small, isolated pockets. This made them more vulnerable to extinction threats.
So in summary, human-driven factors like habitat loss, disease, climate change, and pollution rapidly depleted the golden frog's numbers until it was declared extinct in the wild in 2019. Conservation efforts to create captive breeding populations came too late to save the unique species.