The team that discovered the case of the ‘amphibian plague’ that has devastated amphibian populations, especially that of frogs and toads, are worried that the worst is yet to come.
They have discovered that a killer fungus known as Bd has triggered a mass amphibian extinction that has spread across every continent and been described as among the worst infectious diseases ever recorded.
Rainforests around the world are left in deafening silence as the plague has successfully eliminated entire populations of local frogs in mere months, a scientist describes.
Since 1970, at least 200 frog species are thought to have been driven to extinction, with particularly heavy losses in B-infested Rainforests of Latin America.
East Asia is thought to have been the source of the disease as it was identified by researchers who traced and determined the condition.
Local conservation advocates have since worked tirelessly to quarantine the fragmented populations that remain.
AMPHIBIAN TRADE MAY CREATE HYBRIB BD
However, the international trade of amphibians has continuously posed a threat to the biodiversity of frogs and has worried the scientist for what the future may bring.
According to scientists, as the trade of amphibious continue, different strains of the fungi are transferred from one local area to another – mixing them together may create a hybrid that can be more powerful and difficult to control.
“If we keep hauling amphibians back and forth, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be, you might get something that’s more pathogenic [capable of causing disease],” said Dr. Joyce Longcore, the scientist who first identified the unusual aquatic fungus known as Bd.
“Unless you stop international travel and international trade, things like this are going to continue, and you can make your rules stronger for trade but if you have any volume at all something is going to get through.” /apr