According to Discovery News, a new disease that is threatening the lives of tadpoles has been discovered in six countries across three continents and could disrupt the life cycle of frogs everywhere. The discovery was made by researchers at the University of Exeter as well as scientists from the Natural History Museum in London. The disease is said to be an infectious parasite that is similar to one that can be found in oyster populations.
It’s an interesting reveal as the global frog population has been on the decline for the past decade and no one was really understanding why. While climate changes and environmental destruction has played a factor, it seems infectious disease is also a huge problem. Currently, researchers will be continuing to take samples from across the globe in an effort to see if this is turning into an epidemic or one that can be contained. Since frogs begin as tadpoles and have a longer development cycle, the more tadpoles being killed off means less frogs in the world.
University of Exeter Professor, Thomas Richards stated:
“Global frog populations are suffering serious declines and infectious disease has been shown to be a significant factor.Our work has revealed a previously unidentified microbial group that infects tadpole livers in frog populations across the globe. We now need to figure out if this novel microbe causes significant disease and could be contributing to the frog population declines.”