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Amphibian Deformities is Freshwaters Illustrated's ongoing film and visual media campaign – collaborative with the University of Colorado’s Dr. Pieter Johnson, one of the foremost researchers studying the interaction of human land use and amphibian disease - to raise public awareness about the fascinating and disturbing consequences of amphibian malformation and the current research being conducted to understand these deformities. This outreach effort is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Colorado.

Photos and HD video are available for news media, and licenseable to commercial entities. Please browse our photos and video below, and see more at NAIAD.org. For high res imagery/video, please contact us. All still images are copyright Dave Herasimtschuk / Freshwaters Illustrated and all video is copyright Freshwaters Illustrated, and should be credited as such.

HD MEDIA KIT: Field research with Pieter Johnson from Freshwaters Illustrated

BACKGROUND VIDEO - What's with the Frogs? (2010) Frog malformations and the parasite life cycle

A Northern leopard frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.  
Dr. Pieter Johnson from the University of Colorado and Laura Guderyahn from the City of Gresham's Natural Resource Program observe malformed red-legged frogs in an urban pond near Portland Oregon.
A bullfrog with limb deformities next to a healthy bullfrog.
Researchers from the University of Colorado collect recently metamorphosed amphibians from a Bay Area pond to check them for malformations.
Recently metamorphed Pacific tree frogs with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm. 
Researchers from the University of Colorado search for malformed amphibians in a Bay Area pond.
A Pacific tree frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.
A Northern leopard frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.
Researchers from the University of Colorado collect recently metamorphosed amphibians from a Bay Area pond to check them for malformations.
A Pacific tree frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.
A Pacific tree frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.
Dr. Pieter Johnson from the University of Colorado collects snails from a urban pond in Portland, Oregon to test whether they are infected Ribeiroia ondatrae, a parasitic flatworm that causes malformations in amphibians.
A Northern red-legged frog with limb deformities in an urban pond near Portland Oregon
A Pacific tree frog with limb deformities caused by a parasitic flatworm.
Birds are a key part of the parasite/malformation life cycle. Once a bird eats a frog infected with the flatworm, the parasite reproduces inside the bird. When the bird defecates, its feces contains flatworm eggs that eventually make their way back into the snails and the cycle starts all over.

 

Two young boys search for frogs in a bay area pond with high amounts of amphibian malformations. Frog-catching kids are often the front line for detecting and reporting malformation occurences.
Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) with severe limb malformations opposite an American bullfrog, which suffers little pathology from infection by the same parasite. Higher biodiversity reduces pathogen transmission