“Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean” airs tonight on PBS’ Nature program. The writeup on the program says that amphibians will be among the subjects of the show: “…more than 80 percent of (Cuba’s) reptilies and amphibians, are found nowhere else on the planet.”
Cuba is somewhat of a mystery, at least to this person writing from his home in the United States. I wondered if the crisis affecting amphibians, for which Amphibian Ark was created, is taking root in Cuba. Sadly, apparently it is. Check out this EcoHealth report from last year that reported a chytrid case in Cuba involving a toad species, specifically a male Bufo longinasus, indigenous to central Cuba. A key excerpt:
To date, chytridiomycosis was not known to occur in Cuba. To our knowledge, this was not only the first report for the island, but also the first time that a Cuban amphibian was found in a decaying condition, possibly tied to an advanced stage of the disease. We were unable to detect other individuals with the same symptoms during our short visit to the locality, but now it is clear that, at the very least, this toad population is confronting a serious threat.