WASHINGTON – After years of silence, the rhythmic croaks of frogs and toads are returning in parts of Panama.

A deadly fungal disease devastated amphibians in Central America more than a decade ago, quieting some mountain streams. The disease has spread to many regions around the world, but Panama has been especially hard hit.

New research shows evolution may have saved the day – and the frogs.

Scientists say in the last few years they have seen more frogs and toads in once quiet Panama streams. The critters are by no means recovered, but they are growing in numbers in some places.

The study is in Thursday’s journal Science.

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