If an entire class of animals that’s been around for millions and millions of years is Rapidly declining and potentially going extinct we really need to think about what we’ve done and if our Advances will eventually harm us all I Really like [the] science. I like solving the puzzle I like the CSI I Also like frogs and so I also feel a real drive to help understand how pesticides and other chemicals are affecting amphibian populations Hey Zanna students have been looking for clues in the salinas Valley 50% of the u.s. Is agriculture products come out of California It’s something like [85%] of the country’s lettuce comes out of salinas 90% of the almonds, it’s called a salad Bowl of America California uses more pesticides than any other state the second biggest is, Florida Things like Clark Hickman has used out here on the strawberries for pickering is a nerve gas These are guys who are applying it they’re out there picking it Methyl bromide is a fuming it’s something to pump into the soil [what] are some of the other big ones you guys? some atrazine This will all end up in the river that we’re working in here It might look like we’re out in the bush somewhere, but 15 feet on either side We’re surrounded by agriculture and the runoff ends up in this river all of the algae as a result of all the nutrients has a lot of Fertilizers are used in agriculture and once those fertilizers get into the water you get these blooms of algae [I] Wouldn’t say it’s a sign [of] a healthy river. This is a site where [we] typically find Compromised immune systems tadpoles that aren’t able to fight off disease Our data so far suggests that the mixture of pesticides causes and increase in stress hormones And those stress hormones [caused] immunosuppression which leads to the inability to respond to any kind of disease Pathogen While investigating chemical runoff hey stumbled on another culprit We started going to Salinas River? Looking for the native red-legged frog and it turns out that it has been completely replaced on the River by Bullfrogs This invasive bullfrog itself is one of the causes for decline in many of these areas And so we’re studying them in areas where they’re not doing well to try to understand what may be driving some of the native species to extinction entrepreneurs Transported bullfrogs from the East coast hoping to farm them for food Instead they unleashed a carnivore that has decimated California’s native frogs It seems that even the tough bull frog isn’t doing so well with the toxins in this water Back at Berkeley [hays] is studying another non-native African clawed frogs were once used in human pregnancy tests, but when they became obsolete many were discarded These were collected from Streams around, California We’re removing an invasive frog and we’re studying them to try to understand declining amphibians Hays is testing the effects of chemicals like atrazine a an herbicide We have a whole family of animals where we’ve eliminated the female chromosome specimen zero one these animals that we know are genetic males have been exposed to atrazine for the entire life and many of these genetic males now are turning into females You can see he’s got eggs that kind of look like they’re in a [sac] these are actually yolk eggs ready to be laid What’s happening? Is you’re skewing sex ratios you can get genetic bottlenecking what can cause crashes and quite frankly if you’re a genetic male It’d be nice if [your] developed as a genetic male And [now] we have a chemical very common in the environment that’s effectively sex reversal [enamors]. I want to show you something pretty amazing scientifically speaking The one that sort of remarkable is this parent? These are both males the one on the bottom acting as the female we affectionately refer to as Darnell He’s a genetic male That not only acts like a female he lays eggs like a female [t] she has been exposed to atrazine All of her [his/her] life, I don’t even really know how to reference it This is Darnell’s third clutch, so Darnell has sons and daughters that we’ve grown up You can see eggs in the bottom. This is actually her second clutch for today g She has been copulating for getting close to 24 hours now This is probably one of those remarkable things I’ve seen in my work, but I personally have mixed emotions I’m very excited about the science and trying to understand the mechanism, but on the other hand I am worried this is the most common contaminant and ground and surface water and drinking water and The level of atrazine that it took to make this male turn into a female It’s three times less than what’s allowed [on] [our] drinking water [I] Really think that the global incipient decline is telling us something about human health The toxins in our waters are reaching well Beyond frogs Reproductive abnormalities have been reported in everything from alligators to polar Bears To humans it’s not just a problem with frogs. We should be concerned about the water That’s causing their problems is the same water that we’re drinking and using to water our crops Frog or human we all breathe the same air and drink the same water for their sake and ours Experts Agree, we have to take action, and there’s no time to lose you