first i’ve ever heard of a plant causing hair loss.
Balding disease killing Australia’s wombats
A mystery liver disease thought to be caused by introduced weeds is causing hairy-nosed wombats in southern Australia to go bald and die, researchers said Tuesday.
The illness, which causes the wombat to lose some or all of its fur and then starve to death, is tearing through South Australia’s native southern hairy-nosed wombats, threatening entire populations.
Wildlife workers at first thought the animals had mange, but it became so widespread and severe – with shiny, healthy skin revealed beneath – that autopsies were carried out to determine what was causing the illness.
University of Adelaide researcher Wayne Boardman said the non-native toxic potato weed appeared to be affecting the wombats’ livers, triggering a reaction with ultraviolet light that caused them to lose their fur.