Deadly fungus found for first time in critically endangered amphibian species

ScienceDaily | 6/13/2018 | Staff
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Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) can cause the lethal disease chytridiomycosis, and is considered a significant threat wherever it is found.

It was first discovered in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, designated one of the eight most important global hotspots and one of the three most threatened by population growth, in 2011.

Research - University - Plymouth - Time - Caecilians

But new research led by the University of Plymouth has found it for the first time in caecilians, the critically endangered Amboli Toad (Xanthophryne tigerina) and the endangered white-lipped Cricket Frog (Fejervarya cf. sahyadris).

In a study published in Royal Society Open Science, scientists say there is currently no evidence to suggest the bacteria has developed into chytridiomycosis within the Western Ghats.

Situation - Conservation - Plans - Region - Risk

However, they say the situation should be monitored closely in future and that conservation plans within the region should aim to minimise the risk of the bacteria being spread more widely.

Christopher Thorpe, a postgraduate research student in the University's School of Biological and Marine Sciences, led the study alongside Plymouth colleagues Dr Mairi Knight, David Pryce and Lewis Davies.

Researchers - Department - Infectious - Disease - Epidemiology

It also involved researchers from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, George Washington University, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Maharashtra, India.

Mr Thorpe said: "The Western Ghats is home to the highest concentration of rare amphibians in India and a number of species which feature on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list. To find Bd among them is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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