A disease affecting amphibians has already wiped out 90 species, according to a prominent biologist during the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Conference in Santiago, Chile.
Chytridiomycosis is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is a fungus that attacks the skin of frogs, toads and other amphibians.
Because most amphibians use their skin to breathe, once the disease damages too much of the amphibians’ skins, they will eventually die due to heart failure.
Over the past five years, the disease has driven about 90 species into extinction and affects more than 500 to this day – a global pandemic at the moment.
“It’s over 60 countries right now, and that’s part of the problem,” Jonathan Kolby, co-author of a study on the fungus’s deadly effects in March, told Agence France-Presse.
“To solve it, we have to focus on regulation,” he added. “Globalization is good for people, but it has consequences to animals.”
Kolby explained that the rapid spread of the fungus happened because there is a lack of animal trade rules globally and airport surveillance is also at an all-time low, which continues the importation of wildlife without any proper examination.
According to the data Kolby, and 40 other international experts, presented, the disease is now widespread in Latin America and Australia.
The experts believe the fungus originated in Asia and a genetic mutation of the fungus made it more dangerous to wildlife.