A deadly frog fungus has devastated amphibian populations across every continent, but new studies show that it doesn’t exist at all in New Guinea.
This short article could be used alongside Biological and Earth and Space Sciences for years 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Word Count: 394
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Now field studies by another international team, including researchers from Australia, have revealed that the fungus doesn’t exist at all in New Guinea, which is home to 6 per cent of all known frog species.
That’s surprising, given that the world’s largest tropical island should be an ideal environment for supporting it.
Spotting a conservation disaster before it happens
It’s also a great opportunity, the researchers suggest.
Frog decline could have huge impacts across the ecosystem
The researchers estimate that around 100 species would be in danger if Bd reaches New Guinea. Their decline could have huge impacts across the ecosystem, because they are predators of insects and other small creatures. They are also prey for larger animals.
Clulow and colleagues are working with zoos, universities and the PNG Government to keep captive frogs and store their sperm and eggs to preserve genetic diversity.
The program also will build local capacity in science, and disease surveillance and diagnosis that will have applications for animal and public health.
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