Fungus May Be Cause of Frog Population Decline

A UCSB researcher co-authored a new study indicating that a sexually reproducing deadly fungus is probably responsible for the sudden decline of yellow-legged frogs throughout California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The study – co-written by Roland Knapp, an ecologist at UCSB’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab – indicates that this fungus, rather than non-native predatory fish or pesticides, is responsible for the frogs’ disappearance during the past 30 years. Scientists say that individual frogs can be successfully treated with the application of fungicides, but even treated frogs will die when re-introduced into contaminated bodies of water.

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