Frogs: The Thin Green Line
Video: Full Episode

Watch the full episode of Frogs: The Thin Green Line:

It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.  Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.  Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken? Buy the DVD. This film premiered April 5, 2009.

  • Erik T.

    I want to thank you guys for a great documentary it was just amazing and very informative, but sad to know the fact that “we” are causing some of the most beautiful anfibiants getting extinct…. Any more documentaties on the same subjcet will be an A++

    Erik T.
    (The froggy man!!)

  • parker fritz

    interesting episode, very informative

  • bobbi becker

    Outstanding program! Wonderful footage, and a reminder that everything that we humans do affects the natural world. Our chemically intensive agricultural practices are poisioning not only the natural world, but are very likely also affecting us. Our development practices that place little to no value on wild places and the habitat it provides are leading to catastrophic loss of species around the world, and finally the effects of global warming are being felt in so many ways. These compounding stressors are creating challenges that even the most dedicated scientists, students and volunteers may not be able to overcome in light of the ever burgeoning human population.

  • "Frogs: Thin green line" on TV – Dendroboard

    [...] you watch this on the internet anywhere? I REALLY want to see it!!! Link to full episode Frogs: The Thin Green Line – Video: Full Episode – Amphibian Extinction – Chytrid Fungus | Nature This was just another great reminder of why conservation should be a important part of this hobby. [...]

  • Meagan M.

    Thank you Allison and your team for putting this documentary together. It was fantastic, a great balance of emotion and science. Until now my parents were wondering what went on out there, this was a great way for them to see some of our research.

  • bill woolcott

    Wonderful…factual… wish more had been done to try connect fungus susceptibility to chemicals/pharmaceuticals… my paranoia or suspicions??
    Please schedule this again…or we may be “the future frogs!” Thanks Bill

  • Larry Larsen

    4/5 yrs back,in Miami,Fl very large bromiliad collection in backyard, start rainy season, thought it was insect invasion on ground early dark. 2nd look showed countless (Cuban tree frogs) prepping for reproduction, they fit a couple females on your little fingernail. My idea of I must see more of this. Couple yrs back, Crash. Now I understand why. Thanks, Nature- Thanks Mom!

  • Sheri

    I wish everyone would see this. Wow–it makes me want to quit my job and dedicate my life to saving frogs!

    I also wish there could be an additional episode that talked more about pesticides, herbicides and amphibians.

  • Sharon Mickey

    Thank you for a very important, informative show. I am surprised this subject is not getting more attention from main stream media. I was VERY surprised that SC Johnson was one of the sponsers considering their chemical products must have some impact on what is going on with frogs??? WE NEED TO SAVE THE FROGS! :)

  • Tam

    Thank you very much for airing this show! I loved it so much I forwarded it to everyone I know to watch it!

    Everyone should know this is happening.

  • SHIA


  • Laura

    Thank you for this moving episode. It was an eye opening experience for me. I hope to share this with my community.

  • David Wong

    Thank you for helping open up our world’s eyes. With more great documentaries like this one… the awareness will hopefully help our elected leaders support world wide efforts to save our frogs.

  • Joe Mendelson

    Excellent work here by Allison Argo. This show was factually well checked, current on all fronts, and simply very well produced. THANKS for bringing your evident skills in film production to this important issue!

  • Bryan

    I agree with #8 above. It is nice to see some talk about the chemical contaminant side of things. Though chytrid is devestating, I am often worried that not enough attention is being given to other stressors and how these possible (and some proven) problems are further contributing to declines. There are other things we need to worry about and research in addition to disease.

  • Saul Ricklin

    Absolutely fantastic pictures with a great and worrisome story.

  • BC Bald Eagle Cams « Miss Devore’s Underwater Deli

    [...] of videos, I caught The Thin Green Line on Nature last night and highly recommend it, particularly the latter part of the show about the [...]

  • Jon Davis

    The irony is that we humans have evolved complex nervous systems that allow us to figure this out exactly what we are doing to ourselves.

    Yet when it comes to our habits, we seem no more able to avoid polluting ourselves with sex-altering chemicals…than a male dog can control himself around a female dog that is in heat.

  • Deanna

    My son and myself loved this show. My son is 8 yrs old and was very disturbed by the fact that frogs are in trouble. We have a pond on our property and he waits for the frogs every year.

  • geri degruy

    thank you so much for this work. we so need to save our wildlife, our siblings in this life.

  • Mollyann

    I too would like to have seen more about chemical contaminants & effect on amphibians. Makes you wonder about the rise of nerve disorders (ie Autism)?

  • PBS – Frogs: The Thin Green Line premieres Sunday, April 5 at 8pm – Dendroboard

    [...] PBS – Frogs: The Thin Green Line premieres Sunday, April 5 at 8pm Frogs: The Thin Green Line – Video: Full Episode – Amphibian Extinction – Chytrid Fungus | Nature online video is available here! __________________ Lots of mantellas R.variabilis [...]

  • Mark Gruszka

    Where can i buy a cooy of this DVD?

  • NATURE Online

    To order copies of this and other DVDs in the NATURE series, please click the “shop” link in the top of the site.

  • Bridie

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to and alarm call for our frog friends. And thank you for making this program available online. I for one will be posting a link to your site in as many ways as I can. Amphibians are telling us something. We all need to listen to their message and respond.

  • FONZ

    wow this is a good documentry next time they should do the animals of India

  • Stephanie

    Thank you so much for this program. My Environmental Science students are studying endangered species and we’ve been focusing on vernal pools and the endangered frogs of Massachusetts. This fit perfectly into our curriculum and discussions!

  • Shine Hsiao

    It’s a very interesting topic about the nature and environment. In addition, we also know some species are suffering from the bad circumstances. This let us think more protecting our earth.

  • Tony

    Further proof positive of the fact we dont know what we have done to this planet earth we all call home to with man made toxins. Mother earth is very sick. God will reclaim her and heal her. Frogs seem to be very sick. Whos to say we are just as sick and dont know it yet?

  • Talia

    Thank you for providing such wonderful documentary on the survival quest of these magnificent creatures! I hope the data provided by these dedicated scientists helps to create so much needed awareness from the public, health administrators and government.

  • marion mccormack

    fantastic and so informative, I’m so p[roud both my children are working in the cinservation field, now I must go down the garden and chech on my frogs that have been living here for the past 25 (or more) years.Hope it’s not too late to educate the world.

  • Lorelei

    Loved the video gives everyone a better idea of what is going on with other creatures of the world that need our help too. Wish Dr. Lips was still my advisor but she is defiantly working on a good cause.

  • Glen

    we need to save as much species as we can, 1 bad inbalance can destory billions of species. so happy to see many people still work to preserve nature

  • Caroline

    i thought frogs to be so disturbing!!
    but now…..somebody help them!!!!!
    coodos to the excellent scientists that found it in them to care about the amphibians! Very very very very excellent guys!

    is anything being done about the birth control pills….is there no way to remove it suring water treatment!!!????

  • Zenoob Farquahr

    Kind of a ripoff, I just finished reading the National Geographic frog story and this is all of the same info with one or two minor additions. They must have worked together or rabidly plagerized each other, but the result is the same; duplicative media.

    I like frogs, but there are only a few mass-market science outlets so you really shouldn’t saturate them. It’s boring.

    Frog-Man’s crazy queen of england earrings in part 5 makes up for it a bit, though.

  • Karthick

    really wonderful job scientists, people likes me never thinks about nature……somehow eye opener for me

  • Erick and Aless

    We loved to learn that there’s people caring about the future of this amazing creatures, thanks for sharing your concern and your knowledge with us.Thank you

  • cynthai

    Hey I like the Flogs.

  • layla reckonus

    These frogs, I find them cute. But come on, closing the roads???? I couldn’t go to a wedding because of those roads!

  • Alan Jenkins

    Excellent! One question, though. If frogs are the most sensitive bellweather species to changes in environment (and i don’t doubt it), then how did they outlast dinasours and such, changes in climate, etc. over the last 250 million years? any insight appreciated! thanks.

  • amir

    very good

  • sher

    cool i use to catch frogs for fun now i rarely see them

  • Cairo

    Wow great production. Lots more info at

  • Younghak Yoon

    Thank you for useful information. I realize again that the conservation of the nature is very very important!

  • Jeanne

    Great production! Getting the word out to the public about this mess is an important step in the conservation of frogs.
    Some insight for #41 – over the millions of years that frogs have been present it is likely that many species went extinct with climate fluctuations and events such as that which wiped out the dinosaurs. Few, though would have found refuges in suitable habitat and the great diversity of amphibian species that we see today is a result of evolutionary forces working over more recent times. Possibly a hopeful sign for frogs in the distant future once humans have become a victim of the self-perpetuated 6th great extinction event!

  • Leah

    I loved this special and the footage is beautiful. I work for a non-profit organization called SAVETHEFROGS! I was wondering if I could use some of this footage to make a video to spread frog awareness and tell others on how important frogs are. I’ll credit you guys and the producers for the footage, I won’t take credit.

  • Taylor

    I am a frog LOVER and I almost cried at the end it was so sad, so I’m going to e-mail goverment about the notes I took.I hope that they’re saved before it’s too late.

  • Dee

    What happened to all the videos? It says not longer available on all but one.

  • iloveanimals


  • lion king

    I dont see any thing to apreciate or admire the show or the video. At the end of the conclusion, ” Sorry, this video is not available.” WHY

  • Alan

    The documentary is good and interesting in facts, but i’m more into the ones where there are no experts talking, where it’s just the narrator and the subject alone

  • Brian Gratwicke

    This is an exceptional documentary, we have just announced a new project to try and find a cure for the fungus and to rescue amphibians in Eastern Panama

  • Sassy

    sad sad story can’t get used to seeing all this!!!!! what i mean the frogs all gone!? and extra limbs and losing limbs!!!! sad ):

  • Angie

    I love frogs, I’ve noticed the Coqui frog from Puerto Rico slowly disappearing. It’s maybe due to the fungus.

  • Eric S

    I live in Sugar Grove, Illinois. We have a neighborhood pond that was loaded with bullfrog and toad tadpoles in the spring. Once the toads matured and came on land, my son and I collected ten of them. Three had leg deformities. One had only one back leg, one had three back legs, and one had two back legs, with an extra leg growing out from one of its legs. Disturbing to find such deformities in such a small sample.

  • brian


    Hi, I am working on the panama amphibian rescue and conservation project, we are working to build an amphibian conservation center at the Summit Zoo in Panama. This video does a great job of showing the crisis we are up against. We could use any interested people to help!

  • Chris

    people need a home but i still wander at what cost will it be at.

  • James ones

    Thank you for all your efforts. I would like to be involved in these projects.

  • Veronica

    Thank you for careing for our enviorment and all the different species that are in need of our help. I would hanve never known about what is going on with all the frogs if it wasn’t becouse of my daoughter that was reading about it in school. She is only in 4th grad the good thing that there are teaching students Now that they are young. once agin THANK YOU.

  • brittnee

    i used to hate frogs till i saw this video very good for teachers science class!! thank you

  • Dale

    Excellent, the ecology of Chrytrid is quite a fascinating thing. My lab is concerned with this issue, and from personal experience it is quite devastating. The important things is let the public know of this. You have done a marvelous job doing this. I have suggested it to many people.

  • emily wang

    I really love frogs. I’m hoping that the world can learn about the need for conserving the frogs. I loved this video! I never really knew much about frogs, but after watching this, I have become a frog lover! Thank you!

  • Donna Edison

    Almost 3 years ago I made a home for four African Dwarf Frogs. These wee creatures are most lovable and truly amazing. But the little guys got sick not long after I got them and I began to sift the literature. My friends at the local ornamental fish store thought it might be micobacterium marinum but I think not. Some months later, still sifting the literature, I came upon the work of Drs. Longcore, Spencer, et al. The symptoms of my sick little frogs appeared consistent with descriptions of symptoms caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. I could see what appeared to be the zoospore/angiospore cycle in the small fish-tank micro-environment of these tiny aquatic frogs in my kitchen. That could have been the end of the story.

    Curiously, other weird and baffling phenomena in the waters from the frog tanks and also the loach tanks caught my attention. I thought these to be so strange that I asked many a professional colleague to sit for long periods looking at small round bowls of tank water and tell me what they saw. I was not alone in my observations. Initially these oddities seemed quite separate from the frog problem.

    There are few places, I believe, where a person can sustain long periods of alert, active but unfocused attention besides one’s own kitchen. Surrounded in my kitchen by a strange assembly of fish, frogs, snakes and others, there emerged from the continuous and unedited stream of ‘data’ an image and characteristics of a creature most strange with enormous adaptive capacity and a remarkably complex life cycle. I do not know if this organism is related to Bd but the possibility of remarkable genetic adaptive capacity is raised in papers written by both Morgan (PNAS, April, 2007), and Rosenblum (PNAS, Nov. 2008). If my observations have merit, and if the organism is related to Bd, the organism’s unusual characteristics may yield a way to understand the speed with which Bd has enveloped the globe. I have searched and searched the literature but have found nothing to suggest that others (besides my neighbors and colleagues) are seeing what I see. Elaboration is beyond the scope of this communication but I am in the process of organizing my considerable data and will write of what I see as cogently as possible. The organism that I see certainly affects amphibians but is very much an equal opportunity pathogen, however selective. For example, Garter snakes have some immunity. I have treated and released two. The little Northern Brown snake appears to have no immunity and the 6 I have treated and attempted to protect have all died. Crickets, ghost shrimp, some species of snails, earth worms and slugs, once infected, are doomed. I am quite sure the neighbor’s cat was adversely affected. I believe I am seeing the same organism in all cases despite significant morphological variation in what I think is the zoospore. I have gathered as much physical data as possible with the hope that those with resources beyond those of my kitchen might take a look.

    I stumbled upon a combination if itraconizole and ciprofloxin opthalmic solution by drops 5/2 for 10 gallons as weekly maintenance. As a control for my little froggy gang, I provided this medication combo to our local fish store. The ADFs there were always in rough shape but improved considerably with this treatment. When my frogs were very sick I followed the protocol for itraconazole soaks developed by Dr. Don Nichols as the national zoo. I know the folks in the UK have found chloramphenicol helpful but we can’t get it here. You are probably familiar with the paper by Louise A. Rollins-Smith (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2009) identifying skin peptides as possibly protective and several groups are working on finding a way to induce production of protective peptides.


    Donna Edison, D.O.

  • ron holevas

    It’s the insects that their consuming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Check the parasite in the insects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Susan Newman

    Thank you all for caring, some of those comments are quite interesting… and for PBS for making this important film. We’re doing what we can at FROGS ARE GREEN!

  • David

    I watched this because I love Frogs and Turtles. I was expecting some warm fuzzy story, and ended up almost sick and very sad. If this were happening to Dogs and Cats there would be an outcry like no other. These animals are every bit as important . It has opened my eyes and I am now out to find the best fit for me to get involved and help. There are so many problems if frogs disappear from our ecosystem. Do what you can to help!

  • Jane

    i loved this episode, but i was wondering if i could have a list of the scientists you followed/interviewed. there was a quote i want to use for a paper, but i don’t know who said it and i’m positive one of the scientist on this episode said it. the quote was:”Conservation is putting things back where they belong.”

  • Georgina

    This is a very interesting video, and very well put together,
    a lot of good info.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Deirdre Anderson

    What a wonderful piece! I will try and do my part to help the frogs! I was down in Panama and went to the frog museum in Elle Valle! I highly recommend it to everyone!

  • P. Stearns

    Invaluable documentary. I only wonder if there is a place concerned individuals can go to learn more about what can be done to help change the situation. Are there effective things that we as individuals could be doing to help mitigate the negative effects of our life style? I don’t mean the standard cliche “going green” feel good things, I mean real life changes that can be done gradually and in an impactful way. What sort of policies and legislature would we have to enact to protect what we have left? My biggest criticism with all of these documentaries is that there is no immediate link to a pool of resources for those who have been moved to the point of wanting to make a real difference in the way things are going.

  • Sarah

    Beautiful Documentary!!!!

    I hope we can all put in our best effort to try and revive this disappearing animal. Frogs are amazing, I can’t believe they are becoming extinct. Thank you for such an informative video.

  • Sheryl

    My 8th grade at risk students LOVED this – you have inspired them – keep making more of this stuff!!! Great for the classroom!

  • Rick Tabascio

    I am building a private reserve in Montezuma, Costa Rica and have noticed less and less frogs arriving during the rainy season. Some species have not returned to our property, I know that animals move around from year to year but overall the situation is alarming. I personally have met Allison and thank her for her insight and her marvelous work. Rick Tabascio, Southern Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

  • Zuleide R Leonardo

    Hello anyone!

    Please let me know by your responses about the situation of the frogs in Costa Rica. If I am not incorrect, I remember watching a video about somewhere in Central or South America. In one of the forests, frogs are disappearing, and somehow I have a bunch of frogs growing in this bucket, which was intended for a plant, and my frog connection started when I was called as a Frog from having too many provisional jobs in 2001. So once I was able to set in one place, my garden flag was of a Frog, which I have until today, but now, I am concerning about them, and the Nature lovers and Environment may be able to assist me, so I can help them on my backward, a rented apartment on the ground floor. I am happy they are here, but maybe they should be removed to a better place.

    I am submitting this same e-mail twice. I am serious about it.

  • Robert

    We all love and appreciate nature and the life that is supported by it. ( I hope ). Frogs are at the forefront of long term occupation of earth and with the current events being witnessed, defects and premature death. With them dying off, is it possible that the food chain is in danger of collapsing?
    The arrogance/ignorance of humans is astonishing, we are all responsible for this! How you live and what you do affects the earth. Consider that everything you purchase was made or grown by humans. Humans have developed chemicals to make things, plastics, rubber and fertilizers pump up the natural behavior of the plants we eat, in the name of profit. Throw in an insulator like the stock market, and you have a publicly backed profit making machine that only is concerned with making a profit for their investors. Not about the consequences of the actions taken to create profit. Think about that before you ask someone to make a profit for you. Discarding responsibility and toxins to the investors and non investors alike. We are all contributing and need to rethink our ways.
    Water is the life blood of our planet. Stop pissing in it!!!! Think sustainable! We can do better! Much better.

  • cor

    this was really sad but i liked it. The frogs with the extra limbs were kind of gross.But hopefuly the frogs survive also i’m glad that earth is doing whatever they can, to help these little frogs,survive.

  • Margaret

    This video and program help me alot in an essay I am writing in a Science class. The video was excellent and I love the information on the frogs. People really don’t know hat effect the things that they flush down the toilet or wish down the street and into the ponds, lakes, and water outlets that harm the environment and the creatures that live in them. Frogs may be noisy, but them tell us a lot about the inviroment and what is around us. We need to start finding ways to protect them better.

  • Luke

    wow… i didn’t know about this strange desease. i had heard of the CCD in bees, but not this.

  • A

    This is my favorite video on the site! Have they found a cure to get rid of chytrid yet? I would really like to know.

  • Amanda McCullar

    Very beautiful and moving video! Wish i could save them all!

  • Mimi

    I’m a middle sschooler and i want to find out how i can help the research. Iw onder if anyone knows a website i can donate money to?

  • Annette

    I am concerned about the endangered frog species and have been looking for photos or video
    I was going to fill my above ground pool and start to open it. The cover is torn so green brown water.

    I put 3 gal of chlorine in the pool and left it. I could not get to it. I could here the green tree frogs, and I also have what I believe to be the leopard frog in my yard. Lo and behold when I went to check on the liner of the pool–
    TADPOLS HUNDREDS OF THEM IN MY POOL ALL AT DIFFERENT STAGES I can see the back legs on some of them and who knows what other species of tadpols are in my pool. Needless to say I don’t want to harm them.
    They all look healthy plump and growing amazing. July 2 2012 5:21 pm

  • Tyler

    In regards to the decline of amphibians do to the new parasite. I would like to Point out something. A farmer can freeze cow’s sperm and eggs to ship them somewhere else to be implanted in another cow. So why can’t we do the same thing with frogs? Just freeze them, only as a safeguard to if the species goes extinct?

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.