Though Bd swept through Central America from the 1980s to the 2000s, the analysis that demonstrated its effect on human health could be accomplished only recently, says Michael Springborn, the paper’s lead author and a professor and environmental and resource economist at UC Davis. “The data existed, but it wasn’t easily obtainable,” he says. Over the years, though, county-level disease records were digitized at the ministries of health in Costa Rica and Panama, providing an opportunity to combine that epidemiology in a particular statistical model with satellite images and ecological surveys revealing land characteristics and precipitation, as well as with data on amphibian declines.
“We always thought if we could
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