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 Rare Frog Species Hit Hardest by Deadly Fungus

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Tigris
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PostSubject: Rare Frog Species Hit Hardest by Deadly Fungus   Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:01 pm

Frogs and other amphibians all over the world have been hit hard by the deadly chytrid fungus in recent years.

A new study, discussed in this online Scientific American article, finds that it's the rarer species that fair worst in the face of the fungal onslaught. Herpetologists think that some rare species disappear before they can even be discovered.

It could be that more abundant species that are present at several sites enjoy a certain safety in numbers. But that will only protect them for so long, says study researcher Karen Lips, of the University of Maryland. The fungus is persistant in soils once it enters an area, constantly threatening the local amphibian population.

Scientists don't fully understand how the fungus kills off the frogs, though it is thought to perhaps clog up their skin, effectively suffocating them.

Studies in recent years have found that the fungus is able to reproduce sexually, making it more of a threat to the frogs of the world.

Lips and other researchers have made trips to sites in Costa Rica and other areas of Central and South America to try to scoop up specimens of rare species to keep them from going extinct.

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