A dangerous fungus that rapidly kills frogs has been found in Illinois. The fungus is called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or "Bd" and kills entire populations of frogs by blocking the passage of oxygen and moisture through their skin.
Zoologists at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), have been studying the fungus abroad in Central America and South America since the early 1990's.
Leading SIUC zoologist Karen Lips is beginning a frog survey funded by the Illinois Department Natural Resources. The survey will examine the effects of the fungus on Illinois frogs. So far little is known about the effects of Bd on North American frogs.
Lips has found that the disease typically spreads through populations in wavelike patters and can cause the extinction of entire populations and species.
The fungus can be spread from ornamental trees and from exotic frogs from pet stores.
The source of Bd in Illinois is not yet known at this time.
Karen Lips' recent study in the journal PLoS Biology.
Science Daily article