NOTE: This article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now to gain access to all articles, read exclusive interviews with top scientists from around the world, and browse the site ad free. The first month is free.

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.

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic. In addition, readers can send us tips, press releases, or ideas for stories: