This week we had the pleasure of meeting Doctor Karen Lips and showing her some of our amphibian species and habitats. Doctor Karen Lips, nowadays Professor of Maryland University (USA), is one of the biggest experts of the world in chytridiomycosis in tropical areas, where she has worked intensely during a long period of time.
In the early 1990s, Karen moved to a remote mountain of Costa Rica, where there were hundreds of unknown amphibian species, and she spent two years there gathering an incredible amount of information of what seemed a never-ending task. Sadly, frogs started to disappear in 1993 and suddenly it was almost impossible to find species that used to be very abundant. That is how, without searching for it, her work became key to understanding the effects of the chytrid fungus that has destroyed amphibian populations and species all around the world.
Nowadays Doctor Lips is working in the Appalachians, where you can find the biggest salamander diversity of the world. Sadly, history is repeating itself and many of these salamanders are now disappearing mysteriously and the team of Doctor Lips is investigating the causes of this new disaster.
During her period in Spain, we could show her the Picos de Europa National Park and she could verify herself the devastating effects of the ranavirus in the amphibian populations of the park.
In this video you can get more information about the excellent work of Doctor Karen Lips’ team.