Chytridiomycosis in amphibian populations in the Western Cape, South Africa
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There have been many cases reported of amphibian populations declining. These are often due to anthropogenic factors such as habitat destruction and pollution. However, some eclines have not had an obvious cause and many of these have been investigated and found to be due to pathogenic disease. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently described pathogen of frogs. The population declines that have been associated with chytridiomycosis have occurred in relatively undisturbed areas such as national parks. The declines tend to occur at higher altitudes or in colder climates. This is thought to be because of the frog immune system being slower at lower temperatures. This project gives an overview of chytrid infection in the Western Cape and at a small number of sites in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.