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New Study Links Parasite To Amphibian Malformations In Western United States

Date:
April 19, 2002
Source:
Ecological Society Of America
Summary:
In recent years, the frequency of malformed frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians found with missing limbs, extra limbs, and skin webbings has increased. The shrinking populations of many North American amphibian populations underscore the need to understand the causes and implications of this phenomenon. Now a new study suggests that a parasite may be to blame for many of the abnormalities found in amphibians of the western United States.

In recent years, the frequency of malformed frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians found with missing limbs, extra limbs, and skin webbings has increased. The shrinking populations of many North American amphibian populations underscore the need to understand the causes and implications of this phenomenon. Now a new study suggests that a parasite may be to blame for many of the abnormalities found in amphibians of the western United States. In the research article “Parasite (Ribeiroia Ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States,” appearing in the May issue of the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Monographs, Pieter Johnson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues describe the results of their broad-scale field survey. Covering parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, the team of researchers looked for malformations in over 12,000 amphibians representing 11 species of amphibians. The group looked at the relationships between the frequency and severity of abnormalities and a variety of factors in a particular aquatic site, including the abundance of a parasite (Ribeiroia) and pesticide contamination.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Ecological Society Of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ecological Society Of America. "New Study Links Parasite To Amphibian Malformations In Western United States." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020419064712.htm>.
Ecological Society Of America. (2002, April 19). New Study Links Parasite To Amphibian Malformations In Western United States. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020419064712.htm
Ecological Society Of America. "New Study Links Parasite To Amphibian Malformations In Western United States." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020419064712.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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