According to the KOAT-TV blog (Albuquerque, NM), residents of Los Lunas, New Mexico, are concerned about dead and deformed frogs found in a pond in a park just a few feet from their homes.
As quoted in the report, a resident, who wants to remain anonymous, said the discovery has been a huge concern around the neighborhood for weeks. “We saw several today, probably five or six, maybe ten that were just dead around the pond.”
A local resident took pictures of the deformed frogs after her kids caught several from the pond. In the photos, some of the frogs have no back legs at all, while others have too many legs.
Michael Jaramillo, director of Parks and Recreation for Los Lunas, investigated these reports and found two dead and deformed frogs almost instantly. He suspects that weed killer or chemicals used to treat the algae may be hurting the amphibians. The city of Los Lunas has closed the park and has stretched a yellow caution tape around the entire pond, and experts will soon test the water.
Mason Ryan, an amphibian expert at the University of New Mexico, said in a related article that frogs can be good indicators of what’s wrong in the environment. He doesn’t know what’s specifically happening at the New Mexico park, but the frogs could help tell the story.
“It could indicate that something is out of whack — a potential parasite population has increased too much, a potential predator or disease or chemical contaminant.”
State environmental officials plan to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to test the water for contaminants.