Swabs taken from newts and toads in Wiltshire survey

A toad The swabs will determine whether toads and newts are carrying a fungal infection

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Swabs are being taken from the thighs of newts and toads in Wiltshire to determine whether they are carrying a fungal infection.

The chytrid fungus causes an infectious skin disease which has led to a decline in amphibian species in various parts of the world.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust says the survey will determine whether it is affecting creatures in the county.

Frogs do not appear to be affected by the fungus, the spokesman said.

The chytrid fungus causes chytridiomycosis, which has led to a decline in amphibian species in places including Australia, South American and parts of Spain.

The trust is working with the Wiltshire Amphibian and Reptile Group on the survey.

Swabbing took place at Abbey Meads Primary school in Swindon on Thursday and is due to take place at Smallbrook Meadow Nature Reserve near Warminster next month.

The survey is run by the Zoological Society of London and funded by Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage.

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