Fire salamanders are becoming extinct because of the fungus

Fire salamanders are becoming extinct because of the fungus

The number of the largest Salamander of Europe, Salamandra Salamandra, is rapidly decreasing due to fungi, protection from which they can develop.

Why is this happening and what will happen to these animals in the future, a group of Belgian and Swiss scientists said in an article published by the journal Nature.

During the two years of study, biologists have found that spores of the fungus, striking the newts, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, can be transferred to the other two species of amphibians, and birds, and can survive in water for several months. According to researchers, the fungus could get into Europe with carriers, salamanders and newts imported from Asia as Pets.

The fungus invades the skin of salamanders, causing apathy, loss of appetite, which leads to the death of the animal. Scientists have discovered a fungus in the Netherlands in 2013 after finding a dead fire salamanders with ulcers and abscesses on the skin. Biologists failed to find the animals natural defence mechanisms against disease, so a vaccine cannot be created. Scientists had hoped that over time, the fungus will become less dangerous, as often happens with a pathogen that enters into a population that does not have protection against it. However, as shown by experiments with laboratory animals, it remains fatal.

To cure animals in the laboratory biologists is the fungus does not survive, for example, after ten days at 25 °C and be treated with medication. However, for the treatment and protection of animals living in the woods, practical solutions scientists have not yet found.