Will the Fungus Killing Salamanders Come to the US?
There is nothing more important right now to the survival of Salamanders than the United States stopping the importation of them from Europe and Asia.
From the New York Times article, “Importing Both Salamanders and Their Potential Destruction.”
“You would think there would be something in place,” said Vance T. Vredenburg, a biologist at San Francisco State University. “We really need a government agency at some level to take action and do something.”
…The pet trade brings huge numbers of salamanders into the United States. Fish and Wildlife Service records show that about 780,000 salamanders were imported from 2010 to 2014. Dr. Vredenburg and his colleagues found that 98 percent of the imported animals were native to Asia.
We have been watching Chytrid Fungus, or Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd for short) wipe out many species of frogs. Humans have helped spread this disease around the world and now we have an opportunity, if we act quickly to help the salamanders.
We’re worried about the Asian fungus that causes the disease “Bsal” which has already reached Europe, wiping out 96 percent of fire salamanders in the Netherlands. Now, researchers have determined that the fungus will spread like wildfire if it reaches North America, and they’re calling for an immediate ban on all salamander imports.
Below are a series of articles on this topic from the past week:
NPR >> Scientists Urge Ban On Salamander Imports To U.S. To Keep Fungus At Bay
UC Berkeley >> Scientists urge ban on salamander imports to fend off new fungus
The Verge >> North America’s salamanders threatened by bloody skin disease