Pathogen test for amphibians developed in Onalaska

Several diseases linked to worldwide declines in amphibian populations are found in the La Crosse area.

Staff at the Midwest Fisheries Center in Onalaska has created a non-lethal test for the disease-causing pathogens.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists found the deadly pathogen’s on frogs in La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon Counties.

This is the first time the pathogens have been found in Western Wisconsin.

Local researchers hope the study will help to keep area amphibians as part of the local ecosystem.

“Frogs are generally considered an indicator of ecosystem health. I don’t know anyone who like mosquitoes and frogs and amphibians tend to prey on mosquitoes,” said Isaac Standish, fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

These pathogens do not present any public health risk.

However, they can be deadly to amphibians and have even led to the extinction of some species.