Study: Scientists name pesticides in Sierra frogs

TRACIE CONE, Associated Press
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The Sierra Nevada mountain range in California

The Sierra Nevada mountain range in California (AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Scientists have known for years that pesticides drift from California’s agricultural heartland and accumulate in frogs at the highest elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

Now they have a better understanding of exactly which pesticides collect in the frogs’ tissue.

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey released on Friday tested for nearly 100 of California’s most commonly used pesticides. It found concentrations of two fungicides — pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole — and one herbicide — simazine — in Pacific chorus frogs.

Chorus frogs were chosen for the study because of their abundance, allowing comparisons between frogs in different regions.

Scientists say the study is a first step in determining why frog populations are declining. Climate change and habitat degradation from livestock grazing also are thought to contribute to the decline.

Farm Bureau representatives said they could not immediately comment.

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