Amphibian diseases flow through animal trade

Disease isn’t the biggest killer of amphibians — that would be habitat loss — but it can be the quickest. And the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in particular has been a huge worry for scientists and anyone else who cares about the world’s frogs, toads, salamanders and newts. The disease spreads through water and skin contact (mating, for instance, can be dangerous), infecting the skin of the animal and disrupting its ability to absorb water. Amphibians rely on that water absorption to control electrolyte levels; when that’s disrupted, it usually leads to death. Some 3,900 species are thought to be in trouble because of the disease, and 165 have probably gone extinct. Leer más.