Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, is the most devastating vertebrate disease on record. The fungus infects more than 600 species of amphibian and has been implicated as the primary cause of decline in more than 200 species. A new Animal Conservation study indicates that the common eastern froglet, Crinia signifera, can carry infections without experiencing mortality. Therefore, the presence of the froglets at sites where species have become threatened or extinct inhibits efforts to reintroduce these species.
Neonicotinoid insecticides are based on the natural toxin nicotine, and are of particular concern because they bind virtually irreversibly to the nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors in the insect’s nervous system. Many observations show that the longer the exposure time, the less amount of total chemical is needed to kill the insects; in other words, the lethal exposure concentration decreases with exposure time.
Vor wenigen Wochen erst sorgte eine Untersuchung über das Insektensterben in Deutschland auch über die Wissenschaftsseiten hinaus für einige Aufregung. Wenn es aber weniger Insekten gibt, dann müssen auch ihre Fressfeinde darunter leiden. Und genau das bestätigt nun eine Studie der Salzburger Herpetologen Martin Kyek, Peter Kaufmann und Robert Lindner (Haus der Natur in Salzburg).
Bees and butterflies are experiencing widespread population decline, creating public concern in recent years. Data collected in Germany suggest that it’s not just bees and butterflies at risk: insect populations overall have plummeted by more than 75 percent since 1989. Scientists have known about the population decline for several years. However, they didn’t know how many species were declining, and they didn’t expect it to be happening so fast.
Amphibians, a unique group of vertebrates containing over 7,000 known species, are threatened worldwide. A 2004 global assessment found that nearly one-third (32%) of the world's amphibians are threatened, representing 1,856 species. Amphibians have existed on earth for over 300 million years, yet in just the last two decades there have been an alarming number of extinctions, nearly 168 species are believed to have gone extinct and at least 2,469 (43%) more have populations that are declining.
Scientists and public health experts are alarmed by the phenomenon, which they suspect to be symptomatic of underlying toxicity in the environment and the food chain. “Missing eyes, deformed hind legs, missing limbs, extra limbs, partial limbs, limbs that are bent or bony, and abnormally thin or weak limbs are some of the reported frog abnormalities in the Western ghats,” said Dr. S. Muralidharan from the Division of Ecotoxicology at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History.
A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Frogs and salamanders are currently among the most threatened groups of animals on the planet. The two most common frog diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranavirus infection , are linked to frog population declines worldwide. The new study suggests that that SPI is the third most common infectious disease of frogs.
Neonicotinoids are prophylactically used globally on a variety of crops, and there is concern for the potential impacts of neonicotinoids on aquatic ecosystems. The intensive use of pesticides on crops has been identified as a contributor to population declines of amphibians, but currently little is known regarding the sublethal effects of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on amphibians.
Initial assessments that considered these insecticides harmless to aquatic organisms may have led to a relaxation of monitoring efforts, resulting in the worldwide contamination of many aquatic ecosystems with neonicotinoids. The decline of many populations of invertebrates, due mostly to the widespread presence of waterborne residues and the extreme chronic toxicity of neonicotinoids, is affecting the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, vertebrates that depend on insects and other aquatic invertebrates as their sole or main food resource are being affected.
Kiebitze (Vanellus vanellus) gehören zu den absoluten Verlierern, sagt Jutta Over vom Nabu Emsland/Grafschaft Bentheim. Sie sind im Jahr 2017 im Emsland kaum noch zu sehen und stehen wie fast die Hälfte der 140 Brutvogelarten auf der Liste der gefährdeten Arten. Over hat für unsere Redaktion zum heutigen Tag des Artenschutzes eine Liste bedrohter Tiere und Pflanzen im Emsland erstellt. Von den 140 Brutvogelarten im Emsland seien fast die Hälfte auf der Roten Liste Niedersachsens als gefährdet eingestuft, sieben davon sogar vom Erlöschen bedroht.