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Website tracks fungal diseases affecting amphibians worldwide


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Over the past thirty years, amphibian populations all over the world have been sliding into catastrophic decline. Scientists believe a new deadly fungal disease is to blame for the mysterious population plunges. Amphibiaweb, a website developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, is helping to unravel the mystery. The website collects information, photos, and range maps for every recognized species of amphibian in the world. Biologist David Wake says that the mapping functions of the website provide an authoritative account of where species exist and where they're struggling with the disease.

Wake:            This fungal disease, which we think is expanding, is a new infectious disease and it has the ability to kill amphibians outright. Not all amphibians are affected to the same degree. And so we're using the information about which amphibians are more susceptible to try to find ways of ameliorating the effects of this fungus.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.