A Call to action
With over 300 salamander and newt species found in North America, the continent is home to more of these animals than anywhere else on earth. This important group of amphibians is now facing an extremely serious threat. A fungal pathogen known as Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or “Bsal,” has caused massive die-offs of salamanders in many parts of Europe. Currently Bsal is not known to occur in the wild in North America, but there is a very serious threat that the fungus could spread. The consequences of Bsal invading North America, which supports some of the greatest salamander diversity on the planet, would be severe and irreversible as it is fatal to many species.
Freshwaters Illustrated in collaboration with the Bsal task force aims to boost public understanding and support through educational media that celebrates the importance of salamanders and newts, and does so strategically through grass roots organizations and educational centers that work to conserve these creatures.