WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists have identified a new problem for amphibians, which are already shrinking in numbers: A parasite is infesting tadpoles worldwide.
The family of parasites, related to a bug that attacks oysters, has been found in the livers of frogs and tadpoles on three continents and in both temperate and tropical climates. Researchers linked it to a mass die-off of tadpoles in a state of Georgia lake and probably elsewhere in the United States.
The global distribution of the newly identified threat to frogs was published Monday by the Proceedings of the National of Academy of Sciences.
Study lead author Thomas Richards said amphibian numbers are already falling because of habitat loss, climate change, fungus and other diseases. He said this new parasite is just one more threat.