Mystery as horror disease killing frogs in huge numbers for second year in a row

A mystery disease is causing frogs to drop dead in massive numbers for the second year running across Australia – and no one is sure why.

Residents are being urged to help track the number of deaths through an app, to help experts who are scrambling for answers.

They are also being called to send their reports of any sick or dead frogs to the Australian Museum in a bid to gain control of the crisis.

Biologist Jodi Rowley, of the University of New South Wales, tweeted: “Last winter, thousands of dead and dying frogs were found across Australia.

"In the last few weeks, as it’s cooled, we’ve started getting scarily similar reports."

Sick, old and wounded frogs are likely to die due to their immune system slowing down in winter, but scientists fear there is another reason behind the mass deaths.

It comes after there was a significant increase in fatalities in late June and July last year, reports Independent.

Experts have warned that the alarming numbers could have "very real consequences" on the frog populations, with fears that it could impact entire ecosystems.

Researchers said that a “remarkable 1,600 people” alerted them to sick or dead frogs across the country during the coronavirus lockdowns, reports the conversationalist.

According to the reports, each person described finding dozens of lifeless frogs, belonging to more than 40 species, with the death rate exceeding thousands.

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Scientists confirmed there are "many possible suspects” that could be causing the reptiles to suddenly die and added that amphibian chytrid fungus is “certainly involved”.

Research has previously revealed that the fungus kills frogs, salamanders, newts and other amphibians by targeting their skin which they use to breathe.

But experts are not convinced the fungus is the sole cause of the frog die-offs and said they are also investigating the role of toxins.

“We’ve been testing for parasitic, bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens," they said.

"These tests include looking for pathogens known to kill frogs, and also looking for possible novel pathogens, which is by far the harder task."

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