Data science is saving endangered frogs by giving ecology researchers the big picture on how animal populations are declining.
Scientists have long suspected there was an overarching reason for why endangered frogs have been declining for decades. Now a team of researchers have analysed data from over 1,000 papers from over the world to reveal that the cause is a fungus known as Bd. The lead author of the paper, published in leading journal Science, is ecologist Benjamin Scheele from the Australian National University, who told SBS that the findings were incredibly surprising.
“It wasn’t expected or predicted, and so it took the research community a long time to catch up,” Benjamin said. Only by crunching huge amounts of data did they realise that estimates of frog species declining were more than double the previous predictions. “It’s scary that so many species can become extinct without us knowing.”
Watch the video to find out more about how data analysis can help animal conservation.
Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman
Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.