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Last Updated: Thursday September 15 2005 13:38 GMT

Urgent call to save world's frogs

Rare species of tree frog
Urgent action to save the world's amphibians from extinction will be under the spotlight when scientists meet up in Washington DC this weekend.

About a third of frog, toad and salamander species are on the brink of dying out, a worldwide study found.

The creatures are under threat from disease, pollution and loss of habitat.

The scientists will hear that many millions of pounds will need to be spent on protecting the creatures, in some cases by breeding them in zoos.

This will give scientists a chance to try to rid the creatures' habitats of disease and other threats before re-introducing them to their natural environment.

The worldwide study, which came out in October, showed that almost a third of the 5,743 known species are classed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.

A total of 34 species have become extinct and more than 100 have not been seen for so long that they may have died out as well.

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