Alarming Amphibian Decline Prompts Health Screening Protocol

An African bullfrog was the center of attention at the San Diego Zoo’s Reptile House recently. The three-year-old frog was tested for chytrid fungus using methods recommended by 25 of the world’s leading amphibian veterinarians, disease researchers and animal care experts.

African Bullfrog

African Bullfrog

The scientists were brought together for a three-day workshop hosted at the Zoo to create a comprehensive manual for how to control diseases in amphibians. Amphibians consist of frogs, salamanders and the little-known caecilians.

“It was recently discovered that a fungal disease is affecting amphibians, and that disease was co-discovered by scientific staff at the San Diego Zoo,” said Joseph Mendelson, curator of herpetology at Zoo Atlanta. “Chytrid fungus is doing things that diseases don’t normally do; namely, it’s driving species directly to extinction. That doesn’t happen in a normal, healthy world.”

More at San Diego Zoo

Kirtland Peterson

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