Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris sierra)

After reveling in the noisy chorus of Pacific chorus frogs (also known as Sierran treefrogs) energized by the recent rains, I felt deeply dismayed to read reports that our beautiful –and common — amphibian jewels are a likely carrier for the deadly fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, dubbed chytrid, that is responsible for amphibian extinctions around the globe. The study, reported in the online journal PLoS One, found that the frogs themselves seemed unaffected by chrytid, but they form a reservoir of infection that affects other species of amphibians in their habitats.  While the investigation focused on populations in the Sierra Nevada above 4500 ft. in elevation where such a source was suspected due to the otherwise protected nature of the area, the frogs are found throughout the Pacific states and seem likely to serve the same deadly role elsewhere.

If only other amphibians shared the chorus frog’s resistance…