Salamanders Worldwide Threatened with Deadly Fungal Disease

October 30, 2014 8:33 PM

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Salamanders throughout Europe are getting sick from a deadly fungal disease, and it threatens to spread to the United States through the pet trade unless international efforts are taken to stop it in its tracks, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science.

The toxic fungus in question, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, is similar to one that has caused the extinction of hundreds of frog and toad species around the world. Now, the previously unknown fungus is killing at least a dozen European and North American salamander and newt species.

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