Common_Frog

Common_Frog

The chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) isn’t the only thing killing frogs and amphibians around the world. Now we have word that a disease from the genus Ranavirus is devastating frog populations in the U.K. According to research published in the October 2010 issue of Animal Conservation, the rapidly spreading ranavirus is killing common frogs (Rana temporaria) in areas where it has never been seen before. And where ranavirus is present in the U.K., common frog populations have dropped 81 percent in the last 12 years. The disease causes infected frogs to bleed to death through hemorrhaging organs and skin ulcerations.

 

Previously restricted to southeast England, and possibly introduced to the U.K. through imported frogs or fish, ranavirus has now spread to Lancashire in the west, Yorkshire in the north, and the south coast of the country. “[What] we desperately need to solve is how the disease spreads,” co-author Trent Garner of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said in a prepared statement.

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