Frogs threatened the world over

Viral fungus to blame for massive loss in biodiversity

Hundreds of species of frogs worldwide are facing extinction from a bizarre fungus that clogs their pores, causing them to die of heart attack.

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or “Bd,” is the culprit for what may be the greatest disease-driven loss of biodiversity in recorded history, according to The Washington Post. Experts have estimated that as much as two-thirds of the world’s frog population is at risk of extinction.

The spread of Bd maybe have been aided by the international trade of the African clawed frog (pictured), which can carry the fungus without getting sick and is popular as a lab animal and pet. Recent research suggests the fungus may be evolving into a “superbug.”

Scientists have been attempting to save many species by breeding the frogs in captivity in “amphibian arks,” but for some rare species only a few males and females remain.

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