Science News

Killer Virus Wiping Out Frogs in Southeast England

Sun, 17th Feb 2002

Part of the show Cardiologist Peter Weissberg talks about heart disease

Common frogs in the South East of England are being wiped out in their thousands by a killer virus brought by goldfish imported from America, according to frog conservation group Froglife Trust. It sounds very unpleasant - the frogs die slowly, developing sores all over their bodies and even losing their toes and legs. The number of dead frogs totals 62,000 although the disease has only been confirmed in 1 in 20 cases. Frogs are invaluable to gardeners as they feed on pests like slugs. But gardeners don't just rely on frogs to get rid of slugs - they also kill them off with copper-coated pellets. Researchers say that frogs feeding on these dead slugs have more copper in their livers and this makes them more susceptible to the killer virus.

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