Amphibians are undergoing unprecedented declines around the world, including in protected areas and in pristine habitats. Although originally ascribed to natural population cycles, pollution, excessive UV-B irradiation and other causes, over the past 10 years it has become clear that a novel infectious disease, termed chytridiomycosis, caused by the newly-discovered fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is a leading driver of these declines.
The Global Amphibian Assessment (2004) and its subsequent revisions have shown that at least 43 % of all known amphibian species are declining and nearly a third (about 1,895 species) are now threatened with extinction. It is believed that over 120 amphibian species have become extinct since 1980. Another 6% (382 species are known to be Near Threatened and 25% (1,597) are Data Deficient, many of which are likely to be highly threatened.