Deadly fungus spread by trade in amphibians ‘could wipe out British newts’

A deadly “salamander-eating” fungus that is already causing havoc for European amphibians is rife in the pet trade, prompting fears it could spread to the UK’s vulnerable newts, report the Independent.

In a study partly funded by the British government, scientists found that seven of the 11 private amphibian collections tested from Western Europe were positive for the “Bsal” infection.

The disease is caused by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, a fungus that has spread like wildfire from Asia and killed 99 per cent of fire salamanders in the Netherlands.

Experts are concerned some of the UK’s newts, which are already teetering on the edge of extinction thanks to habitat loss and intensive farming, could be the next victims of this plague.

FNW at Normandy village fete

Thank you to everyone that visited the Friends of Normandy Wildlife stall at the Normandy Village Fete.

Nests displayed at Normandy Village Fete 2018

We had our display boards showing photos of wildlife in Normandy, and information about our past and future talks and key updates about Normandy wildlife.  We brought nature to the fete by displaying skulls and nests which people may not have seen before – all species which can be found in Normandy.

Nest made by boy at Normandy Village Fete 2018

We also had a  competition for our younger visitors.  Inspired by the real nests made by birds, they made nests of their own from clay, moss, feathers and more.  Here you can see our two winning nests: the above by Vinny, and the one below a joint effort by neighbours Sara and Brooke.  The young winners all received natural history books as their prize.

Nest made by girls at Normandy Village Fete 2018

We had a wonderful day meeting you all and we hope you enjoyed our stall too.