Anamorphic Kiss of Chytrid
We are witnessing a mass extinction of Amphibia. An exotic fungus, Chytrid, is delivering the fatal blow.
Chytrid is now reported on all continents where frogs live - in 43 countries. It survives at elevations from sea level to 20,000 feet. Locally it may be spread by anything from a frog’s leg to a bird’s feather to a hiker’s muddy boots, and it has afflicted over 200 species. Gone from the wild are the Costa Rican golden toad, the Panamanian golden frog, the Wyoming toad, the Australian gastric-brooding frog, to name but a few. In a 2007 paper, Australian researcher Lee Berger and colleagues, who first laid blame on the fungus, put it this way:
“The impact of Chytrid on frogs is the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history.”
Extracts from National Geographic, April 2009