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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Froggy Fungus: It Ain't Easy Being Green

"Frogs facing new threat from fungus":
Port Macquarie News, AUS
October 2003

A DEADLY fungus believed responsible for attacking the east coast's green tree frog population could be felt in Port Macquarie. Southern Cross University PhD candidate David Newell says the fungus called amphibian chytrid affects the skin and damages internal organs, paralysing the frog and eventually killing it. 'The fungus is right along the east coast, so potentially there are sick frogs turning up in Port Macquarie,' he said. Mr Newell is encouraging people to report cases of sick frogs to the National Parks and Wildlife Service in a bid to build up information about the disease. The fungus usually attacks frogs in high elevation rainforest streams where deaths are largely undetected, but this year's cooler winter has resulted in the fungus becoming more virulent in a range of low election, relatively common species such as the green tree frog. The National Parks and Wildlife Service has listed the chytrid fungus under the Threatened Species Conservation Act in a bid to formulate strategies to halt its spread. Mr Newell said there had been reported spates of the disease among green tree frog populations but the fungus could be catastrophic in other species with smaller populations. The disease, which was discovered in 1998, can be spread through the movement of frogs in produce and garden supplies. cont...


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