Widely used pesticides can kill frogs within an hour, new research has revealed, suggesting the chemicals are playing a significant and previously unknown role in the catastrophic global decline of amphibians.
The scientists behind the study said it was both "astonishing" and "alarming" that common pesticides could be so toxic at the doses approved by regulatory authorities, adding to growing criticism of how pesticides are tested.
"You would not think products registered on the market would have such a toxic effect," said Carsten Brühl, at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany. "It is the simplest effect you can think of: you spray the amphibian with the pesticide and it is dead. That should translate into a dramatic effect on populations."
Trenton Garner, an ecologist at the Zoological Society of London, said: "This is a valuable addition to the substantial body of literature detailing how existing standards for the use of agricultural pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers are inadequate for the protection of biodiversity."