Researchers at Wichita State study disease affecting frogs

Researchers at Wichita State University have added knowledge to a world problem, the university said in a statement Thursday.

Millions of frogs have died worldwide from an infectious fungus called chytrid; and now WSU students in biology have discovered evidence of the fungus in the Wichita area, WSU said in a written statement.

It is the first documentation of chytrid in Kansas, WSU said.

Chytrid has been found in all neighboring states and has caused amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide, WSU said.

WSU undergraduate and graduate students spent two years working on a field ecology class in the university’s Department of Biology. They worked near Wichita, Viola and Waterloo, Kan.

This is bad news for nature, and not only for frogs, WSU said. There could be a “trickle-down effect” in nature if amphibians decline.

People can help, WSU said, by, among other things, not moving a frog from one lake or pond to another, cleaning wet or muddy boots and tires, and cleaning fishing, camping, gardening or frog-survey equipment.