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Wafting pesticides taint far-flung frogs

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12:33pm, November 15, 2004

Federal researchers have added new evidence to the growing case that agricultural pesticides blowing into California's wilderness areas have played a role in mysterious declines in frog populations.

Traces of the common pesticides Diazinon and chlorpyrifos showed up in more than half the Pacific tree frogs sampled in Yosemite National Park, but in only 9 percent of the frogs tested at sites upwind of agricultural areas, report U.S. Geological Survey scientists Gary Fellers and Donald Sparling.

Fellers, based at the Point Reyes National Seashore in California, and Sparling, at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, spoke at a USGS symposium on amphibian declines held last week in Reston, Va.

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