Deadly Fungus Could Threaten US Salamanders

According to new research, a ban on salamander imports is crucial to stopping the spread of a deadly fungus that kills almost every salamander it infects. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, also known as Bsal, is a chytrid fungus, and a close relative of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a frog fungus that is threatening species worldwide.

Each year, thousands of live salamanders arrive in shipments on U.S. shores, a trade that must stop immediately, scientists say.

According to new research, a ban on salamander imports is crucial to stopping the spread of a deadly fungus that kills almost every salamander it infects. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, also known as Bsal, is a chytrid fungus, and a close relative of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a frog fungus that is threatening species worldwide.

Bsal was first discovered in 2013 after fire salamanders in the Netherlands began dying in droves. Since then, the fungus has appeared in Belgium. Bsal originated in Asia, researchers have found, and spreads via the pet trade. [Album: Bizarre Frogs, Lizards and Salamanders]

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