We often get asked… how bad is the global Bd epidemic, really?
Our lab participated in a global, quantitative assessment of the amphibian chytridiomycosis panzootic, published today in Science. Chytridiomycosis is one of the most devastating examples of a wildlife epidemic, and this disease played a role in the decline of at least 501 amphibian species over the past half-century, including 90 presumed extinctions. The effects of chytridiomycosis have been greatest in range-restricted anurans, wet climates, and high elevations in the Americas and Australia. Declines peaked in the 1980s, and only 12% of declined species show signs of recovery. Plenty of work to be done still to identify mechanisms of species recovery and develop mitigation actions.
Katie Garrett and Jonathan Kolby made a beautiful (and sobering) video about our results, Cornell Chronicle published a piece on the paper, and Dan Greenberg and Wendy Palen also authored a ‘Perspective’ piece.