Find out how ZSL scientists discovered the link between the frog trade and a killer fungus seriously effecting amphibians worldwide with Frog Blog
Collecting Alytes obstetricans tadpoles from a Bd+ site in Switzerland
But why do they appear different? To explain, we compared the differences between their genomes (genetic history). This showed us that Bd consists of at least three separate and divergent lineages, each likely to have been spread, and potentially to have come into contact with one another via the global trade of amphibians. The global trade of live amphibians supplies amphibians for human consumption, the pet trade, lab animal trade and zoos and in many ways is largely unregulated. One of these Bd lineages also has features within the genome that may have resulted from hybridization between two parental strains of the disease. Our data shows that this is the most common type of Bd, and also the type associated with mass-death and extinction of whole species. Lab experiments show that this lineage is hyper-virulent when compared with the other identified lineages. These findings raise an interesting possibility: that extinctions from Bd are not solely caused by introduction into naive populations, but that the largely unregulated trade in amphibians has inadvertently created this fungal super-bug. Preventing future panzootics therefore may rest in readdressing the measures used to prevent transmission of infectious diseases (biosecurity) in the amphibian trade to prevent accelerated evolution and spread of hyper-virulent diseases in the future. Rhys Farrer
Select a blog
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
Find out more about life in our B.U.G.S exhibit
A new Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.
See the latest ranges, updates and special offers from our exciting new online shop.
Excerpts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Discover more about the UK's biggest zoo with our fun blog posts!
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
Follow the latest news on ZSL’s Arts & Culture projects at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos, and ZSL’s conservation work through the lens of the Arts.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.