Emerging Frog Virus Responsible for 80 Percent Decline in UK Populations


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Frogs around the world have been plagued by Chytridiomycosis, but in the UK, the common frog, Rana temporaria, is facing another threat: The emerging Ranavirus.STRONG: 10 Strange New Frog Species

According to a recent analysis of data collected by the Frog Mortality Project, researchers have concluded that, in the UK, Ranavirus was responsible for an 81 percent decline in adult frog populations over the last 12 years.

Amber Teacher, lead author of the study, explained:

Our findings show that Ranavirus not only causes one-off mass-mortality events, but is also responsible for long-term population declines. We need to understand more about this virus if we are to minimise the serious threat that it poses to our native amphibians

Of course, this does not account for the damage done by chytridiomycosis, a fatal amphibian disease caused by a fungal infection.

Researchers of both diseases hope that by studying the individuals that survive outbreaks, some insight into immunity can be found.

Read more about amphibian disease:
Amphibian Bacteria Could Be Key to Saving Frogs from Extinction
Study of Frog Disease May Benefit Human Medicine
Do Amphibian Deaths Signal the Coming of a Sixth Mass Extinction?

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Endangered Species