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

Species of the Week
Salamandra salamandra | Fire Salamander

Amphibian News
Bsal, the recently discovered fungal pathogen of amphibians, has proven to be highly virulent and has wiped out local populations of salamanders in northwestern Europe. Thanks to a new report by Stegen et al. (2017) we have a much better understanding of Bsal, and what has been learned brings no comfort. Pathogenicity and transmission were studied. They found no evidence of decreased virulence since discovery of Bsal, which is expected in host-pathogen interactions. Experiments to increase immunity of the salamanders failed. There is no evidence of immunity in populations studied. In nature, the fungus is able to survive for long periods in the form of thick-walled, water-resistant encysted spores, not previously reported in Bd or Bsal. These spores likely can survive sufficiently to travel on the feet of waterfowl and persist in the environment without hosts for some period. The combination of biological traits makes Bsal a truly formidable threat to salamanders.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,660 (Apr 28, 2017) Newly added species