Madagascar is home to a mind-boggling array of frogs, 99 percent of which are found nowhere else in the world. But a recent study finds out that the island nation now also hosts the greatest threat to amphibian biodiversity in modern times—the chytrid fungus.
A new study in the journal Scientific Reports finds that chytrid is present in multiple Madagascar frog species. Bletz and colleagues examined skin swabs and tissue samples from 4,155 amphibians tested for chytrid from 2005 to 2014. They found, to their surprise, that the fungus began to appear on frogs starting in 2010.
A Williams’ bright-eyed frog clings to vegetation at the Ankaratra Massif in east-central Madagascar. The area is one of several locations where researchers have found the chytrid fungus.