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    • I'd never heard of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but I was shocked and disturbed to find out in this Atlantic article that it's decimating amphibian species, and appears to be unstoppable.

      Bd—Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in full—kills frogs and other amphibians by eating away at their skin and triggering fatal heart attacks. It’s often said that the fungus has caused the decline or extinction of 200 amphibian species, but that figure is almost two decades out-of-date. New figures, compiled by a team led by Ben Scheele from the Australian National University, are much worse.

      Scheele’s team estimates that the fungus has caused the decline of 501 amphibian species—about 6.5 percent of the known total. Of these, 90 have been wiped out entirely. Another 124 have fallen by more than 90 percent, and their odds of recovery are slim. Never in recorded history has a single disease burned down so much of the tree of life.

      The origin of Bd is explored, as is the precarious states of amphibians increasingly under threat from introduced predators, environmental pollution, habitat loss and more. Let's hope researchers can help.