Article

EcoHealth

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 125-134

Spread of Chytridiomycosis Has Caused the Rapid Global Decline and Extinction of Frogs

  • Lee Francis SkerrattAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University Email author 
  • , Lee BergerAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University
  • , Richard SpeareAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University
  • , Scott CashinsAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University
  • , Keith Raymond McDonaldAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
  • , Andrea Dawn PhillottAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University
  • , Harry Bryan HinesAffiliated withQueensland Parks and Wildlife Service
  • , Nicole KenyonAffiliated withAmphibian Disease Ecology Group, School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University

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Abstract

The global emergence and spread of the pathogenic, virulent, and highly transmissible fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, resulting in the disease chytridiomycosis, has caused the decline or extinction of up to about 200 species of frogs. Key postulates for this theory have been completely or partially fulfilled. In the absence of supportive evidence for alternative theories despite decades of research, it is important for the scientific community and conservation agencies to recognize and manage the threat of chytridiomycosis to remaining species of frogs, especially those that are naive to the pathogen. The impact of chytridiomycosis on frogs is the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history.

Keywords

chytridiomycosis Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis decline extinction frogs amphibians postulates global