Scientific Name: Iridoviridae sp. and Batrachochytruim dendrobatidis
What Are They?
Ranaviruses and amphibian chytrid fungus are diseases that infect amphibians, and are responsible for large-scale die-offs of multiple species in the Pacific Northwest.
Are They Here Yet?
Yes. Certain amphibian ranaviruses are present across Washington, and amphibian chytrid fungus is present in amphibian populations in Washington.
Why Should I Care?
While neither of these two diseases are known to be transmittable to warm-blooded animals (including humans and other mammals), they pose a significant risk to the state’s amphibians. Amphibian chytrid fungus is capable of infecting most species of amphibians. Certain types of ranaviruses have the potential to kill upwards of 90 percent of a population of amphibians. Several species of concern are thus threatened by both ranaviruses and amphibian chytrid fungus, which have the potential to rapidly wipe them out.
How Can We Stop Them?
To stop the spread of amphibian diseases, do not release cold-blooded animals like amphibians, reptiles, or fish into the wild. Thoroughly clean and dry all wet or muddy footwear before travelling elsewhere, as amphibian chytrid funguses may be transported in mud or water.
What Are Their Characteristics?
- Amphibians infected with a ranavirus may hemorrhage in small bloody spots or patches on their underbellies.
- Amphibian chytrid fungus may make an amphibian’s skin slough off or appear bloodshot.
- Both ranaviruses and amphibian chytrid fungus may cause lethargy or odd behaviors in amphibians, such as erratic or weakened motion.