AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.

Species of the Week:
Atelopus zeteki

Amphibian News
The link between microbial communities and individual health is gaining strength in recent years. For amphibians, evidence grows that certain microbes may provide resistance to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis which causes chytridiomycosis, a leading cause of amphibian decline. Becker et al. (2014), investigated the differences in microbial communities in wild vs. first generation captive-reared Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki); reintroductions of captive reared golden frogs has been one method of combating chytridiomycosis. Although both wild and captive-reared frogs shared 70% of the microbial species, the authors also found significant differences in microbial diversity and richness with captive reared frogs, having on average more microbial species, and wild animals having communities with greater evenness and phylogenetic diversity. The effects of these microbial differences are currently unknown, but could threaten reintroductions due to loss of immunity to local pathogens. Thus the authors argue for reducing time spent in captivity or raising captive-reared animals with non-pathogenic native substrates.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,325 (Oct 1, 2014) Newly added species