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The worst disease ever recorded


Harlequin frog frog mountain hazard and risk of Bd fungus.B. GRATWICKE / Smithsonian Preservation Institute of Biology)
Harlequin frog frog mountain hazard and risk of Bd fungus.B. GRATWICKE / Smithsonian Preservation Institute of Biology)

The international study, led by Ana found a fungal disease caused a sharp decline in population in more than 500 species of amphibians, including 90 in the extinction, in the last 50 years.

The disease, which time & # 39; eating the skin of amphibians, completely destroyed some species while leaving more than sporadic cases of death among other species. Amphibians, living most of his life in the water, and the other part on land, consist mainly of frogs, toads and salamanders.

Fatal disease, chytridiomycosis, is present in more than 60 countries – the most affected areas of the world with the & # 39 are Australia, Central America and South America.

Lead researcher Dr Ben Scheele said the team found that chytridiomycosis is responsible for the great loss of biodiversity due to disease.

"The disease caused by the chytrid fungus, which probably originated in Asia, where & # 39 are the local amphibians have immunity to the disease," said Dr. Scheele with Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU.

He said that an unprecedented number of slides put the chytrid fungus is among the most damaging invasive species in the world – by analogy with the rats and cats in terms of number of species, each of which poses a threat.

"Highly virulent disease of wild animals, including chytridiomycosis, contribute to the sixth mass extinction Earth," said Dr. Shiel.

"The disease we studied caused mass extinction of amphibians worldwide. We've lost some really strange views ".

Dr. Sheila says more than 40 species of frogs in Australia decreased due to fungal disease in the last 30 years, including seven species that are extinct.

"Globalization and trade of wild animals with & # 39 are the main causes of this global pandemic and allows the spread of the disease to continue," he said.

"People are moving plants and animals around the world at a rapid pace, introducing pathogens into new areas."

Dr. Sheila says, improved biosecurity and wildlife trade regulations is an urgent need to prevent more extinctions worldwide.

"We must do everything possible to stop future pandemics, having better control over the trade in wild animals in the world."

Dr. Sheila says that the work of the team has determined that many species are still at high risk of extinction within the next 10-20 years chytridiomycosis due to ongoing declines.

"Knowing what types of risk can be assigned to help future research for the development of conservation activities to prevent extinction."

Dr. Scheele said conservation programs and the disappearance of frog species have developed new methods of reintroduction was averted in Australia to keep some amphibians.

"It is very difficult to remove the chytrid fungus from the ecosystem – if in the ecosystem, it's pretty much stay there, unfortunately. This is partly because some species do not die from the disease, "he said.

"On the one hand, it is fortunate that some species are resistant to the chytrid fungus; but on the other hand, it means that these species are fungi and act as a reservoir for it so there is a constant source of the fungus in the environment.

Co-researcher Dr Claire Foster, who is also a school environment Fenner environment and society, said Ana-led study of the involvement of close collaboration with Professor Frank Pasmans and Dr. Stefano Canessa at the University of Ghent, Belgium, along with 38 different amphibians and experts illness wild animals from around the world.

"These employees have enabled us to gain first-hand understanding of what is happening on the ground in these countries," she said.

The research is published in Science and was supported by threatening species recovery hub Australian Government National Environmental Science.

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