Imported salamanders could carry a fatal fungus to American shores.
You’ve probably never heard of the Bsal Fungus, but according to The Hoops News, this fungus kills almost every salamander that it infects in the United States. In Asia, Bsal and salamanders are able to coexist, but the importing of salamanders has drastically increased the likelihood of this fungus creating a problem with U.S. salamanders. Asian salamanders have developed an immunity to the fungus due to potentially millions of years of exposure, but here in the U.S. salamanders haven’t been exposed for nearly the same amount of time.
The scientists running the most recent study on Bsal claim that unless drastic action is taken, the fungus could cause a biodiversity crisis in the United States. They insist that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service call an immediate ban on imported salamanders. This quarantine, they say, is the only way to guarantee against the spread of infection.
Part of the study claimed that, “With no effective means to control spread of Bsal once it is established in wild host populations, Bsal invasion of North America could lead to rapid epizootic (wildlife epidemic) declines and extinctions in the world’s richest and most diverse salamander fauna.”
This problem doesn’t only affect scientists who which to protect salamanders, but it represents the problems for animals across the world.