There is a type of fungus that rapidly spreads and which began threatening the life of frogs everywhere. According to a new study, this fungal infection is the cause behind the recent mass frogs die-off. And that might contribute to the Earth’s sixth extinction, the researchers believe.
The study was published online on Friday in the journal called Science that is reviewed by peers, and it draws the loss from chytridiomycosis “catastrophic,” saying that the disease has already “caused death and species extinction at a global scale.” Over the past 50 years, more than 501 amphibian species have died, and the study says that 90 that are presumed extinct are also included in the count.
Two fungus species are behind the cause of chytridiomycosis, the lethal fungal infection that kills frogs, and their origin is supposed to be Asia. These fungi, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (discovered in 1998) and B. salamandrivorans (found in 2013) can eat away the skin when contracted. There has also been the cause of the death of many frogs for decades now. However, some global alarm has also been caused by its recent spread.
The fungal infection that kills frogs contributes to the Earth’s sixth extinction
A biologist at Simon Fraser University, Wendy Palen, who is a co-author of a commentary accompanying the study thinks that the fungus can be associated with the disease “the most deadly pathogen known to science,” The New York Times reports.
The spread of pathogen can be stopped as researchers are calling for new research and monitoring that can do that. This way, the species that are at risk can also be saved.
The outbreak, according to the authors of the study, is contributing to “the Earth’s sixth mass extinction.” In the wet climates of the Americas and Australia, the deaths have been most extreme peaking in the 1980s. Signs of recovery, according to the study, are only shown by 12 percent of the declined species as 39 percent continue to fall.