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Deadly skin-eating fungus is wiping out fire salamanders

Jonathan Marker | Science Recorder | September 03, 2013

Deadly skin-eating fungus is wiping out fire salamanders

The fire salamander has distinctive yellow and black skin patterns.

An international team of scientists has identified a new and deadly species of fungus that has ravaged fire salamander populations in forests of the Netherlands since 2010.  The fungus, called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, destroys the amphibians’ skin and is responsible for pushing the fire salamander to the brink of regional extinction.

The fire salamander is easily recognizable, as it has distinctive yellow and black skin patterns, but the current population has dwindled to approximately 10 – less than 4 percent of its original level – and the cause of the die-off puzzled scientists until the recent discovery.

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