Deadly Frog Disease Is Spreading

May 7, 2007 rposas

A Griffith University study has shown that the deadly chytrid fungus is becoming devastating to Australia’s frog populations.

Kerry Kringer, a Griffith researcher, said that chytridiomycosis – the disease caused by the fungus – was once absent from Queensland but is now prevalent in moist, temperate areas around Australia, and around the world. Some scientists think that the spread of this disease could be due to international trade in amphibians as well as the possibility of environmental factors.

Kerry said, “It attacks the keratin in the frogs’ skin, and may also produce a toxin that poisons the frog. The disease can have an 80 per cent mortality rate, and is already believed to be responsible for 6-8 species extinctions in eastern Australia.”

Frogs are an important bio-indicator, they can exhibit early warning signs for environmental problems. The public is being asked not to handle these frogs or relocate then from one place to another. It is scary to think that it could possibly be the environment that is contributing to the spread of this disease among frogs. It makes you think, what other conditions the environment may be adding to your health.

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