From: US Geological Survey
Published September 19, 2017 04:23 PM

Emerging Disease Further Jeopardizes North American Frogs

A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey

Frogs and salamanders are currently among the most threatened groups of animals on the planet. The two most common frog diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranavirus infection, are linked to frog population declines worldwide. The new study suggests that that SPI is the third most common infectious disease of frogs.

Scientists with the USGS studied 247 frog die-offs in 43 states from 1999 through 2015. The researchers found that SPI caused 21 of the mass mortalities in 10 states spanning from Alaska to Florida, all involving tadpoles. Up to 95 percent of the tadpole populations died during the SPI mortality events.

“Amphibians such as frogs are valuable because they serve as pest control by eating insects like mosquitos, and they are food for larger predators,” said Marcos Isidoro Ayza, a USGS scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison post-doctoral fellow and the lead author of the study. “They’re also exceptional indicators of ecosystem health. Like the proverbial canary in a coal mine, amphibians let us know when something in our environment is going awry.”

Read more at US Geological Survey

Image: This photomicrograph shows a liver of a frog with a severe Perkinsea infection.

Credit: US Geological Survey

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

2017©. Copyright Environmental News Network