Hundreds of dead frogs have been reportedly found in a lake in the Curragh.
Water samples were collected yesterday after an estimated 250 to 300 dead or dying frogs were found in the area writes Paula Campbell.
An overnight analysis of the water sampled by the Herpetological Society of Ireland returned results that are within the normal range for a healthy habitat however.
The primary symptoms of the frogs discovered were dry, crackly skin around the neck area. There was also red discolouration in the skin of some of the frogs, known as common frogs, in what has been described as a ‘mass die off’ of the frogs in the lake.
There are a number of possible causes of this huge frog die-off including being a target for rats during the spawning seasons as they become an easy target because the are worn out after all the frog reproduction.
The Ranavirus, which causes internal haemorrhaging could also be a cause, alongside Chytrid, a pathogenic water fungus which invades the immune system, giving the animals a crusty appearance.
Skin swabs have been taken for DNA analysis in an effort to identify the root cause of this mass mortality occurrence.
The common frog also known as Rana Temporaria is a protected species so it is vital that the cause of this outbreak is found to prevent any future incidents.
A similar occurrence was reported in Waterford last year.
The Herpetological Society of Ireland encourages anyone who observes similar incidents to contact them immediately by their website www.theHSI.org