A Cure for Chytrid?

For the UAS Whalesong

Eariler this semester I wrote an article about frogs. More specifically about some of the challenges frogs are currently facing. One of those challenges had to do with a disease called chytridiomycosis, a disease largely caused by the aquatic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

The first case of chytridomycosis recorded was in 1938 in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and for two decades it remained in Africa with no cases reported elsewhere. However, it did not remain this way, and has gone on to heavily impact many species of frogs around the world. Currently there are 700 amphibian species who have been infected. Continue reading “A Cure for Chytrid?”

Frogs: Dropping Like Flies

For the UAS Whalesong
Frogs are a surprisingly important part of many ecosystems. Their impact begins in their tadpole stage because of their ability to keep algae growth in check and by being a food source for other organisms. They are also beneficial for humans in a variety of ways. Many species of frogs eat insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, and flies, which can carry diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. Frogs have also played an important part in research of human medicine. Since their skin is so easily affected by chemicals they are amazing bioindicators.
Today the existence of frogs around the world is being threatened. There are 6,565 recorded species of frogs and toads, but that number is steadily falling. There are several major factors that play a part in their decline: climate change/loss of habitat, pollution, and especially Chytridiomycosis. One of the reasons that frogs are being hit particularly hard by these factors comes down to their physiology. Continue reading “Frogs: Dropping Like Flies”