Posted on September 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A boreal toad found in the Cucumber Gulch wetlands in Breckenridge, Colorado. bberwyn photo.
New sampling method enables early detection of deadly fungus in the environment, before it infects amphibians
FRISCO — A new way to test for the presence of the amphibian-killing chytrid fungus may help conservation efforts for species like the Rocky Mountain’s boreal toads, still under consideration for the endangered species list.
Instead of testing amphibians directly for the fungus, U.S. Geological Survey researchers said they’ve learned how to test for chytrid fungus in the water the animals live in. The new sampling technique can help assess the risk of exposure, potentially helping plan recovery efforts. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, chytrid fungus, endangered species, USGS | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A live boreal toad from waters known to harbor the deadly chytrid fungus. bberwyn photo.
Research suggests some species can develop or acquire an immunity to deadly fungal pathogens
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Florida-based researchers say they may have some answers for the puzzling wave of amphibian deaths that’s been wiping out populations of some species. At least some frogs and snakes may be able to develop immunity to the deadly chytrid fungus that’s been implicated in the die-off, University of South Florida biologists said this week.
Their findings could be good news in general for biodiversity, as emerging fungal pathogens are seen as posing the greatest threat of any parastic pathogens, contributing to declines of amphibians, bats, corals, bees and snakes. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, boreal toads, chytrid fungus, Colorado, Environment | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado’s boreal toads have been devastated by the chytrid pathogen, as well as habitat loss and water quality degradation. bberwyn photo.
Findings may help protect amphibians from deadly fungus
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Biologists continue to unravel the mysteries of the amphibian-killing chytrid pathogen, raising hopes that there may be a way to slow or stop the disease, which has wiped out populations of frogs worldwide.
Researchers have long wondered why the pathogen sometimes kills all the amphibians in one habitat, while apparently leaving other nearby populations unharmed. After studying mountain ponds in the Pyrenees, the scientists concluded that, in some regions, naturally occurring predators may control the pathogen.
This natural behavior will reduce the infection pressure on potential amphibian hosts and a goes a long way towards explaining the distribution of chytridiomycosis, at least in temporal climatic regions. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, global amphibian decline | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, chytrid, Environment | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 21, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Baseline data will help researchers zero in on hotspots
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Frogs and toads have been hit hard by pesticides and other pollutants, as well as the deadly chytrid fungus, but there is a little bit of good news. A 10-year study shows that the rate of deformed frogs may be lower than previously believed.
The findings suggest that the rate of abnormalities such as shortened or missing legs was less than 2 percent overall. But much higher rates were found in local “hotspots,” suggesting that where these problems occur they have local causes. The results were published Nov. 18 in the journal PLOS ONE. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, global amphibian decline | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, Environment, frog deformities | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
One of the last few boreal toads found at Cucumber Gulch in Breckenridge tested negative for the chytrid fungus.
New research may help inform conservation measures
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Biologists say they’re one step closer to understanding how, exactly, the chytrid fungus kills amphibians. The fungus, which has been linked with a global amphibian die-off, apparently releases a toxin that disables the amphibian immune response, Vanderbilt University investigators reported Oct. 18 in the journal Science.
Biologists have long wondered why amphibian immune systems aren’t able to clear the fungus, according to Dr.Louise Rollins-Smith, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, chyyrid fungus, Environment | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A boreal toad survey team member holds one of two adult toads found in Cucumber Gulch, in Breckenridge, Colorado, during the summer of 2005. Since then, no more boreal toads have been documented in the wetlands preserve. bberwyn photo.
Decline of once-common Colorado high-elevation toad a symptom of global amphibian decline
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — While remnant populations of boreal toads in Colorado appear to be relatively stable for now, federal biologists are still considering whether the amphibians need protection under the Endangered Species Act.
In the latest twist, conservation groups said they’ve reached an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a timeline to make a listing decision, giving the agency four years to decide whether boreal toads in the southern Rocky Mountains, Utah, southern Idaho and northeastern Nevada should be formally classified as endangered or threatened. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, boreal toads, endangered species, endangered species act | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New study tracks alarming rate of population decline, spurs call for immediate conservation action
Boreal toads have all but disappeared from parts of the Rocky Mountains. Photo courtesy USFWS.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The sudden decline of boreal toad populations in Colorado during the past couple of decades took state researchers by surprise, but it turns out that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Globally, the loss of amphibian species has sent shock waves rippling through aquatic ecosystems and there’s no sign the decline is slowing down, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists, who recently set out to measure amphibian losses in the United States. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: amphibian decline, biodiversity, boreal toads, Environment | 1 Comment »