Chytrid is a family of fungi that for the most part are benign to vertebrate animals. But recently one particular strain, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has been discovered to be the cause of the decline in amphibian populations on nearly every continent where they can be found. The fungus causes an often fatal disease called chytridiomycosis, which causes changes in the amphibians sensitive skin. I has been spread through the international sale of amphibians by amphibian to amphibian contact with it’s origins probably in South America.
Chytrid fungus has spread so wide and fast due to the importation of amphibians to the West from South Africa that were harvested for medical use to determine human pregnancies. The fungus has caused a 33 percent decline in frog species worldwide, according to the BBC documentary Planet Earth.
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