Ninety amphibian species have been wiped out thanks to a deadly fungal disease.

It affects frogs, toads and salamanders and has caused a dramatic population collapse in more than 400 species in the past 50 years.

The disease is called chytridiomycosis which eats away at the skin of amphibians and is threatening to send more animals extinct.

Originally from Asia, it is present in more than 60 countries – with the worst affected parts of the world are tropical Australia, Central America and South America.

And many species remain at high risk of extinction over the next 10 to 20 years from the disease because its impact on depleted population levels and because those that are resistant acts as reservoirs for the disease.

Only an eighth – 12 per cent – of declined species show signs of recovery, whereas two fifths – 39 per cent are experiencing ongoing decline.

Of the species affect 124 are suffering severe of more than 90 per cent reductions in abundance.

The study was the first to tally toll from the highly virulent fungal amphibian disease and found chytridiomycosis was responsible for the greatest loss of biodiversity due to a disease.

Lead researcher Research Fellow Dr Ben Scheele at The Australian National University warned the unprecedented number of declines places chytrid fungus among the most damaging of invasive species worldwide – similar to rats and cats in terms of the number of species each of them endangers.

Original Source


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