Monday, 9 October 2017

Emerging infectious disease threatens Darwin’s frog with extinction

Date: September 27, 2017
Source: University of Zurich

Iconic species likely to be wiped-out by amphibian fungus, despite lack of obvious short-term evidence.

The Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) is the latest amphibian species to face extinction due to the global chytridiomycosis pandemic, according to an international study published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.

The study has found that Darwin's frogs are infected with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and despite an absence of obvious mortality researchers have noted population declines, leading them to believe that these infected populations are at a serious risk of extinction within 15 years of contracting the disease.

Populations of this unique species, currently known as highly threatened, were previously considered to have remained relatively stable in the face of the disease that has ravaged many amphibian species worldwide, but the frogs may have been infected over a decade ago, with the impacts only recently observed.


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