100 percent of Eastern red-spotted newts exposed to the fungus in a laboratory died. (Credit: Michael Righi/CC BY 2.0)
The deadly fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans is wiping out salamanders in parts of Europe. Researchers such as amphibian expert Karen Lips of the University of Maryland predict the fungus will soon come to America, according to a release from the university.
Various species of newt, a type of salamander, remain a popular aquarium pet worldwide. Lips believes globe-trotting newts will bring the disease to U.S. soil unless immediate action is taken.
Current U.S. animal import regulations are not designed to protect native species, and Lips believes changing the regulations is the best way to protect U.S. salamanders. The mortality rate of salamanders infected with the fungus has reached 100 percent for some species, such as the Eastern red-spotted newt.
Image: 100 percent of Eastern red-spotted newts exposed to the fungus in a laboratory died. (Credit: Michael Righi/CC BY 2.0)