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Cause of salamander die-off found: Skin-eating fungus

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A newly discovered fungus that feasts on the skin of amphibians is threatening to decimate a species of salamander in the Netherlands, according to new research.

Fire salamanders are one of the most recognizable salamander species in Europe, and are characterized by their distinct yellow- and black-patterned skin. Since 2010, fire salamanders have been mysteriously dying off in the forests of the Netherlands.

Now, scientists have identified a deadly fungus, called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans(the second part of the name translates to "salamander-eating"), that they say is jeopardizing biodiversity and bringing fire salamanders close to the brink of regional extinction.

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