ABOVE: This mossy red-eyed frog, one of the many species of amphibians affected by chytrid fungus, is “floating” on spiky plant hairs.

Jonathan Kolby, a policy specialist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the director of the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center, studies the global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Chytrid is a waterborne pathogen that causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, a skin infection that can lead to lethargy and death. Kolby was part of a team that conducted a global assessment of chytrid infection released in Science earlier this year. The researchers found that over the past 50 years, chytrid has had a role in the decline of at least 501 species of amphibians worldwide, which include 90 species thought to be extinct.

Kolby photographed the mossy red-eyed frog (Duellmanohyla soralia) in the above photo as part...

This video, co-produced by Kolby, describes recent findings about chytrid’s devastating effects.

B.C. Scheele et al., “Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity,” doi:10.1126/science.aav0379, Science, 2019.

Emily Makowski is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at emakowski@the-scientist.com

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