Virus causing mass frog deaths in the Netherlands

Virus causing mass frog deaths in the Netherlands

More than one thousand wild frogs died in Drenthe the Netherlands last year because of the Rana virus.

Chances are that the virus has also struck elsewhere, according to a spokeswoman for Fish Reptiles Amphibians Research Organization Netherlands (RAVON).

The coming months RAVON will investigate whether there are other areas in the Netherlands where many frogs have died. It is the first time that this dangerous virus infected wild frogs, discovered the scientists of the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC) of Utrecht University.

The Ranavirus can cause massive deaths in amphibians, reptiles and fish. The virus is not harmful to humans. In a fen in Dwingelderveld National Park there were many dead frogs found in September last year. After investigation it appeared to be the Rana virus.

Meanwhile, measures have been taken to combat risk of spreading. According to the spokeswoman RAVON there is not enough budget to actively examine other locations in the Netherlands. “We therefore hope that nature lovers report when they find a lot of dead frogs.”

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