Nav: Home

Colombian frog believed extinct found alive

May 18, 2006

Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America.

The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin.

Professor Carlos Rocha and a team of researchers from the Pedagogical and Technological University of Boyacá - UTPC supported by Conservation International, the Darwin Initiative and the Fund for Environmental Action and Childhood made the discovery in early May in the deserts of Sarna and Toquilla in Boyacá in eastern Colombia.

The painted frog, which is found only in the deserts of Colombia's highlands, was last seen in 1995 in the area of Siscunsi, in the same region as Boyacá. After 11 years without a sighting, scientists considered the species extinct because of a lethal skin fungus, known as chytridiomycosis, and other hazards threatening the survival of a third of all amphibian species around the world.

"The scientific importance of the finding must motivate us to adopt urgent measures toward saving the last of these amphibians, both in the wild and through captive breeding programs," said Fabio Arjona, executive director of Conservation International in Colombia. "That will require a lot of support from the local and international communities."

The painted frog is one of 110 species of a diverse group of neo-tropical amphibians that live mostly in Colombia. The country's amphibian population is considered among the most diverse on Earth and key in the conservation efforts to protect amphibian species worldwide. So far, 42 of the 113 species of Atelopus found in the Tropical Andes Hotspot that includes parts of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela have experienced population declines of up to 50 percent.

Frogs provide innumerable ecosystem services by consuming insects and serving as indicators of overall environmental health of an ecosystem. The disappearance of amphibians could cause numerous consequences, including an increase in illnesses such as malaria due to the disappearance of amphibians that feed on mosquitoes carrying the disease. An extinction crisis among amphibians indicates drastic environmental changes caused by human impact such as deforestation and global warming.
-end-
The research was conducted as part of the Atelopus Initiative, a regional program that monitors the state of amphibian populations in the Tropical Andes Hotspot. CI will work with partners on extending Atelopus conservation initiatives into Peru and Bolivia under the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan created in 2005 as result of the 2004 Global Amphibian Assessment.

Conservation International

Related Fungus Articles:

Single fungus amplifies Crohn's disease symptoms
A microscopic fungus called Candida tropicalis triggered gut inflammation and exacerbated symptoms of Crohn's disease, in a recent study conducted at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
A novel anticandidal compound containing sulfur from endophytic fungus
There is a continuous search for new, safe and relatively cheaper drugs with the advent of new diseases and increasing antibiotic resistance.
Plants cheat too: A new species of fungus-parasitizing orchid
Plants usually produce their own nutrients by using sun energy, but not all of them.
How a fungus inhibits the immune system of plants
A newly discovered protein from a fungus is able to suppress the innate immune system of plants.
What happens to a pathogenic fungus grown in space?
A new study, published this week in mSphere, provides evidence that Aspergillus fumigatus, a significant opportunistic fungal threat to human health, grows and behaves similarly on the International Space Station compared with earth.
Fungus a possible precursor of severe respiratory diseases in pigs
Pneumocystis carinii causes mild forms of pneumonia in pigs and was considered of low diagnostic relevance.
Rare fungus product reduces resistance to antibiotics
Microorganisms, among them fungi, are a natural and rich source of antibiotic compounds.
How to organize a cell: Novel insight from a fungus
University of Exeter researchers have found novel insight into the ways cells organise themselves.
Deadly fungus threatens African frogs
Misty mountains, glistening forests and blue-green lakes make Cameroon, the wettest part of Africa, a tropical wonderland for amphibians.
Invasive amphibian fungus could threaten US salamander populations
A deadly fungus causing population crashes in wild European salamanders could emerge in the United States and threaten already declining amphibians here, according to a report released today by the US Geological Survey.

Related Fungus Reading:

The Kingdom of Fungi
by Jens H. Petersen (Author)

The fungi realm has been called the "hidden kingdom," a mysterious world populated by microscopic spores, gigantic mushrooms and toadstools, and a host of other multicellular organisms ranging widely in color, size, and shape. The Kingdom of Fungi provides an intimate look at the world's astonishing variety of fungi species, from cup fungi and lichens to truffles and tooth fungi, clubs and corals, and jelly fungi and puffballs. This beautifully illustrated book features more than 800 stunning color photographs as well as a concise text that describes the biology and ecology of... View Details


Fungi (Materia Medica Clinica) (Volume 2)
by Massimo Mangialavori (Author), Krista Heron (Editor), John Sobraske (Editor), Betty Wood (Editor)

This second installment of Massimo Mangialavori’s Materia Medica Clinica presents remedies, old and new, from the otherworldly, overlooked kingdom of Fungi. These remedies have enough association to constitute a broad group, while being too disparate to form a homeopathic family. This fascinating menagerie of fourteen remedies is a first attempt to see the commonalities within this mostly unknown territory. Many years ago, Boericke and Allen took steps in this direction, but few have followed since—until now. Like mystical wizards, fungi transform life into death, and the detritus of... View Details


Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America
by Roger Phillips (Author)

Praise for the hardcover edition:

"The quality of the photographs, along with the detailed descriptions, makes the volume an excellent identification guide."
-- American Reference Books Annual

"If you have even the slightest interest in identifying North American mushrooms, this is -- quite simply -- the book on the topic, bar none."
-- January Magazine

For amateur collectors or professional mycologists working in the field, this guidebook is quite simply the best North American mushroom reference ever published. Each of the 1,000... View Details


Teaming with Fungi: The Organic Grower's Guide to Mycorrhizae (Science for Gardeners)
by Jeff Lowenfels (Author)

From the bestselling author of Teaming with Microbes and Teaming with Nutrients
 

Teaming with Fungi is an important guide to mycorrhizae and the role they play in agriculture, horticulture, and hydroponics. Almost every plant in a garden forms a relationship with fungi, and many plants would not exist without their fungal partners. By better understanding this relationship, gardeners can take advantage of the benefits of fungi, which include an increased uptake in nutrients, resistance to drought, earlier fruiting, and more. Learn how the fungi interact... View Details


Fungi: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Nicholas P. Money (Author)

The variety of the mycological world is far greater than most people imagine. Tens of thousands of fungal species have been described and many more are known only from the abundance of their genes in soil and water. Fungi are hugely important as agents of wood decay in forests, and, as parasites, they have caused the deaths of millions of people by ravaging crops and reshaping our natural ecosystems.

Fungi also perform a variety of essential functions in ecosystems, and are important to both agriculture and biotechnology. Their importance is now becoming greatly appreciated among... View Details


We Are Fungi
by Christine Nishiyama (Author)

Christine Nishiyama's debut picture book combines science with story, fact with fiction, and real life wonders with magical mysteries. 

This genre-bending picture book tells dual stories side-by-side. A factually accurate story is told through words, while a more mysterious story is told through pictures, following the journey of a curious young girl as she ventures into the woods to hunt for mushrooms. As dusk falls, weird things begin to happen and as she travels deeper and deeper into the woods, she ends deeper and deeper in the world of fungi. 
A creepy story that aims... View Details


The Fungus Link Volume 2
by Doug A. Kaufmann (Author)

Fight the microscopic fungi that can cause hormone problems, mental disfunction, autoimmune disease, ear nose and throat illness, wight gain and hair loss. View Details


Fungi: Mushrooms, Toadstools, Molds, Yeasts, and Other Fungi (A Class of Their Own)
by Judy Wearing (Author)

Looks at the fungus kingdom, providing information and examples of species from the major groups of fungi, as well as case histories involving certain fungi and how they have affected man. View Details


The Book of Fungi: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from around the World
by Peter Roberts (Author), Shelley Evans (Author)

Colorful, mysterious, and often fantastically shaped, fungi have been a source of wonder and fascination since the earliest hunter-gatherers first foraged for them. Today there are few, if any, places on Earth where fungi have not found themselves a home. And these highly specialized organisms are an indispensable part of the great chain of life. They not only partner in symbiotic relationships with over ninety percent of the world’s trees and flowering plant species, they also recycle and create humus, the fertile soil from which such flora receive their nutrition. Some fungi are... View Details


Medically Important Fungi: A Guide to Identifi cation
by Davise H. Larone (Author)

The tool you need to confidently and accurately identify clinically relevant fungi.

Conceived and perfected by world-renowned microbiologist Dr. Davise Larone, a classic reference that enables both novice and experienced lab technologists to confi dently identify medically important fungi. Presents straightforward step-by-step guidance and textual descriptions that allow users to distinguish between fungi that display similar characteristics. Provides detailed descriptions of the major fungal pathologies and hundreds of the most critical clinically observed fungi. ... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Simple Solutions
Sometimes, the best solutions to complex problems are simple. But simple doesn't always mean easy. This hour, TED speakers describe the innovation and hard work that goes into achieving simplicity. Guests include designer Mileha Soneji, chef Sam Kass, sleep researcher Wendy Troxel, public health advocate Myriam Sidibe, and engineer Amos Winter.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#448 Pavlov (Rebroadcast)
This week, we're learning about the life and work of a groundbreaking physiologist whose work on learning and instinct is familiar worldwide, and almost universally misunderstood. We'll spend the hour with Daniel Todes, Ph.D, Professor of History of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, discussing his book "Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science."