Friday, 28 December 2012

Friday, 21 December 2012

New European report on invasive alien species includes Bd

The European Environment Agency just published a report on invasive alien species in Europe. There is also a chapter on Bd.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The almost complete story of RACE and Bd in Europe

The freelance journalist Katharine Sanderson has written about the RACE project, its origins and Bd research in an in-depth story at BBC. It summarizes well the research of RACE and the roles of some of the researchers involved. I particularly liked the sentence "..there are more fundamental problems to deal with – like how to get a stubborn ass to shift." That's true, not only for donkeys. Read the story here
and for those in the UK it is here

Monday, 1 October 2012

Genetic detectives hunt the global amphibian killer


'AN UNKNOWN disease springs out of nowhere and sweeps across the globe, leaving millions of dead bodies strewn in its wake. Even worse, the disease strikes not just one species, but hundreds. Nothing can check the epidemic, which threatens to drive many species to extinction....' Bob Holmes has written a thrilling article in the New Scientist about the emergence of Batrachochytrium. And, close on the heels of Bob's article comes 'Attack of the Clones' by Kai Kupferschmidt in Science, featuring Joel Sartore's now iconic image of the Sierran Rana dieoffs. It's great to see such high-quality journalist-written articles appearing in the wider media, publicising the impacts of Batrachochytrium and other emerging infectious fungi.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Trade rules must be tightened to halt frog-killing fungus

RACE team member Mark Auliya says that amphibian trade must be regulated in order to save amphibians. Read the full interview in Nature: here.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

The 4th RACE-Meet in Penelara

From the 21st to the 26th of May RACE has met at the mythic Bd-index site of Penelara for it's 4th meeting. A superbly organized meeting (thank you Jaime) allowed a great exchange between the different RACE and External-RACE partners. Many fruitful discussions and cultural events have made this meet a great success and has prepared RACErs for the work ahead.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

No Bd in Alpine salamanders

A new paper by Stefan Lötters et al. published in Salamandra shows that the Alpine salamander Salamandra atra is not infected with Bd. (Photo credit: Uli Schulte)

Friday, 20 April 2012

If you have a long one you have more success

Multiple sexual traits are important assessment criteria for female mate choice. In the palmate newt you, as a male, need to have a long one (tail filament), and should actively court, if you want to seduce your female. This new RACE-article on the palmate newt sets a baseline for the importance of multiple sexual signalling for better understanding the non-lethal impact of diseases like Bd and Amphibiocystidium on the reproduction of newts. The article has been published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Fear of Fungi

Fisher et al. have recently produced a review and metanalysis of temporal trends in fungal emerging disease. The paper is in Nature and argues that nascent fungal infections, such as Bd will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Bd and population trends


A new paper shows that the presence of Bd had no measurable effect on trends of populations of Alytes obstetricans in Switzerland (at least under current environmental conditions), a species known to be susceptible to Bd. The paper (open access) can be found here.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

FROGLOG 101 is now out....

The Amphibian Specialist Group IUCN ASG has released an issue focused on Europe, North Africa and West Asia. The PDF can be downloaded from here, and there are articles by RACERs on RACE as well as POPAMPHIBIEN in France (Claude Miaud), conservation in Switzerland (Beni Schmidt) and Betic Midwive toads (Emilio Gonzalez and Jaime Bosch). A great job ASG and James Lewis!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Endemic Bd in Asia


A new paper by Bai and colleagues (Diversity and Distributions 18, 307--318, 2012) shows that multiple endemic lineages (haplotypes) of Bd exist in Asia. Most interestingly, the endemic Bd lineages appear to be pre-date the expansion of the global panzootic lineage of Bd.