Thursday, 26 December 2013

Microscopic Aquatic Predators Dictate Infection Dynamics of a Globally Emerged Pathogen



Solving a part of the puzzle of the distribution of the most deadly wildlife pathogen. The results raise the hope of a form of Bd biocontrol, one that lacks the downsides associated with introducing non-native biocontrol agents, such as the use of antifungal chemicals or release of non-native skin bacteria into the environment, or the reliance of unpredictable environmental temperature to 'cure' infections.


Microscopic Aquatic Predators Strongly Affect Infection Dynamics of a Globally Emerged Pathogen

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Where are all the Western Toads? « Bay Nature

Where are all the Western Toads?

Earlier this year the U.S. Geological Survey’s Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative released the first estimate of how fast we are losing amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) across the country. The study found there was a 3.7 percent average annual rate of decline for all populations of amphibians monitored, while species listed on the IUCN Red list are experiencing an average 11.6 percent decline. While these numbers seem slight, small declines build up dramatically over time.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

IPBES-2 in Antalya

At the IPBES-2, currently hold in Antalya, the work program of this Intergovernmental Panel is discussed. Part of the work program comprises invasive species and wildlife diseases, hence, they are very relevant to RACE and research on wildlife diseases carried out. The RACE-Brief as well as the RACE Policy Brief have been distributed here in Antalya with a total number of 250 copies. The MEP of the IPBES, as well as several countries have shown great interest in the work conducted by RACE, with Robert Watson being very excited to receive a full information package on Bd. Many discussions resulted from the distribution of the information with delegates from around the world, including Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. In many cases, only vague ideas and information on Bd and other wildlife diseases were present. The delegates and stakeholders were happy to receive first hand information from RACE. Generally, there is a great chance that the Bd work could become an example for the work of the IPBES.

Horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2014 lists probiotic anti-Bd therapy as an important topic

From the paper: "Many amphibian populations in relatively pristine habitats are in decline or are becoming extirpated due to the skin disease chytridiomycosis. Probiotic therapy through bioaugmentation is now emerging as a potential solution for mitigating this disease. The microbiome, the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live within and upon every organism, has become a growing area of human health research, but relatively little attention has been paid to the nonhuman microbiome. Bioaugmentation could both facilitate reintroduction of amphibians to areas from which they have been extirpated and reduce the magnitude of declines in areas not yet affected by chytridiomycosis. Although the concept of probiotic therapy is promising, laboratory and field experiments on treatment of amphibians with probiotic baths have yielded mixed results, and the method has not yet been applied over large natural areas. Potential environmental effects of bioaugmentation on nontarget amphibians and other taxonomic groups are not well known." The pdf (open access) can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534713002772

Friday, 29 November 2013

Bd detected in Romania

Bd also occurs in Romania. Judit Vörös et al. describe the presence of Bd in Romania in a new paper in the North-Western Journal of Zoology (here's the link to the journal). Bd was primarily detected in the yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata. (Picture (c) Kurt Grossenbacher)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bd widespread in Germany

A new study by Torsten Ohst and coauthors which was recently published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (go to the abstract here) shows that Bd is widespread in Germany both geographically and taxonomically. It infects almost all species in almost all parts of Germany.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Darwin's Frogs Going Extinct from Deadly Fungal Infection

Scientists believe Darwin's frogs have gone extinct due to habitat loss and a deadly amphibian disease known as chytridiomycosis. Researchers from Chile's Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) and the Zoological Society of London report the loss of Darwin's frogs as one of only a few examples of "extinction by infection."
Darwin's frogs, named by Charles Darwin when he described the species in 1834 on an island just off Chile's west coast, are endemic to Chile and Argentina. The pointy nosed amphibians look like overstuffed leaves. Male Darwin's frogs have been observed scooping their own tadpoles up in their mouths and keeping as many as three inside their vocal sacs until the tadpoles mature into frogs.

Darwin's Frogs Going Extinct from Deadly Fungal Infection : Animals : Nature World News

Friday, 25 October 2013


BiodivERsA, a network of research-funding agencies across Europe, recently published a policy brief on wildlife diseases to inform the European Union. The brief was distributed at a conference in the European Parliament organized last month by the EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. The Amphibian Survival Alliance was invited earlier this year to participate in a stakeholder meeting in Brussels that included officers from the European Commission, and then on to participate in the drafting of this brief.
The policy brief highlights the increase of severe infections diseases that are affecting wildlife due to the globalization of trade, which results in increased mobility of pathogens and invasive species. The brief uses Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) to illustrate the issue: based on results from the Biodiversa-funded RACE-project, it emphasises that Bd is already present in at least 17 EU countries, and suggests that movement of amphibians between continents for trade purposes is one of the major causes for Bd spread around the world.
The document recommends the development and adoption of adequate policy action to address the issue of increasing spread of wildlife diseases in Europe, and mentions several specific EU and international policies that can contribute to address this problem, such as the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, the upcoming EU legislation on Invasive Alien Species, and the EU Habitats Directive. It also recommends better coordination of measures tackling wildlife epidemics, and also between the institutions in charge of the different policies mentioned in the text.
You can read the entire brief here from the ASA-ASG website at amphibians.org

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pilz bedroht Amphibien - Tödlicher Pilz bedroht Amphibien - ARD | Das Erste




Amphibienkrankheit in den Pyrenäen

Besonders betroffen von der gefährlichen Pilzerkrankung ist die Amphibienwelt der Pyrenäen. Hier hat der Pilz bereits unzählige Kröten und Bergmolche getötet. "Das Artensterben ist schlimmer als zu Zeiten der Dinosaurier", meint der Biologe Dirk Schmeller vom Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung. Zusammen mit seiner Kollegin Adeline Loyau vom CNRS Toulouse ist er seit fünf Jahren in den Pyrenäen unterwegs, um die Ausbreitung des Pilzes zu erforschen. Sein hauptsächliches Untersuchungsgebiet ist die wasserreiche Hochebene von Bassiès auf 1.600 Höhenmetern. Eigentlich sind die Teiche, Tümpel und Seen dieser Bergregion mit ihrer fast unberührten Natur ein Paradies für Amphibien. Doch diese Idylle wird vom Chytridpilz bedroht: In den letzten Jahren haben die Forscher in den spanischen und französischen Pyrenäen Tausende von verendeten Tieren aufgesammelt.
Der Pilz greift die Tiere im Wasser an. Seine Sporen sind mikroskopisch klein. Sie leben in Bächen und Teichen und können sich mit einer Art Ruder fortbewegen. Der Chytridpilz ist auf die Amphibienhaut spezialisiert. Kommt ein Tier in seine Nähe, setzt er sich in der Haut des Tieres fest und vermehrt sich schnell.
Die Forscher wissen nicht genau, warum die Tiere an dem Pilz meist sterben. Die Haut ist für Amphibien ein besonders wichtiges Organ. Durch sie nehmen sie Flüssigkeit ebenso wie Mineralien auf, geben aber auch Abfallstoffe ab. Sie können sogar über die Haut atmen. Eine These der Wissenschaftler ist, dass die Pilzerkrankung den Wasserhaushalt der Tiere beeinträchtigt. Die erkrankten Tiere wirken lethargisch und stellen die Nahrungsaufnahme ein. Ihre Pupillen sind meist erweitert und sie reagieren nicht mehr auf Lichteinfall.
Von außen sieht man toten Tieren nicht an, woran sie gestorben sind. Ob sie Opfer des Chytridpilzes sind, können die Forscher erst durch eine Haut- und Erbgutanalyse im Labor feststellen.

http://www.daserste.de/information/wissen-kultur/w-wie-wissen/sendung/amphibien-100.html

Friday, 18 October 2013

Amphibiensterben: Tödlicher Pilz schaltet Immunsystem von Fröschen aus - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Amphibiensterben: Tödlicher Pilz schaltet Immunsystem von Fröschen aus - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Ein gefährlicher Pilz rafft seit Jahren weltweit massenweise Amphibien dahin, mehrere Arten hat der Pilz bereits ausgerottet. Forscher haben nun erstmals das Erfolgsgeheimnis des Schädlings gelüftet: Er manipuliert das Immunsystem - mit fatalen Folgen.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Chytrid Fungus Paralyzes Lymphocyte Responses

A new paper in Science describes a mechanism that may explain why Bd is such a deadly pathogen. The abstract of the paper (click here to read the paper on the Science website
): "The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide." There is also a podcast interview: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/366/suppl/DC2

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans - a new species of pathogenic chytrid fungus

An Martel and her team have discoverd -in collaboration with RACE team member Mat Fisher- a new species of chytrid fungus and named it Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs). Bs was found to be pathogenic to fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) where is cause a rapid population decline. Read more here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/2013/09/02/fire-salamanders-netherlands-fungus/ http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_2-9-2013-11-41-0 The pdf of the article is available here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/28/1307356110.abstract

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Which European species are susceptible to Bd?

A new paper by Vojtech Balaz and coauthors (including RACE team members) shows which European species are susceptible to Bd. Here's the link to the abstract.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Chromosomal Copy Number Variation, Selection and Uneven Rates of Recombination Reveal Cryptic Genome Diversity Linked to Pathogenicity

RACE team members are uncovering the genetic mechanisms that lead to the pathogenicity of Bd and the varied phenotypic responses observed in Bd. The paper was published in the open access journal PLoS Genetics: http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1003703

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bd on Sardinia

Jon Bielby and coauthors published a paper in the most recent issue of "Diversity and Distributions" (link to the abstract). The main result is "Both geographic and taxonomic distributions of Bd were highly non-random: we identified a cluster of infections in the north of the island and found that two species, Euproctus platycephalus and Discoglossus sardus, had a relatively high prevalence of infection within this cluster." (this is from the abstract).

Friday, 9 August 2013

Is resistance to Bd costly?

A new paper recently published in BMC Ecology suggests that resistance to Bd is costly. Link
.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A por la rana inmunizada | Madrid | EL PAÍS

A por la rana inmunizada | Madrid | EL PAÍS

Anochece en la laguna Grande de Peñalara. Jaime Bosch, investigador del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), embutido en un peto impermeable y con una linterna en la cabeza a modo de diadema, se introduce en sus frías y transparentes aguas. Allí deja 5.500 renacuajos de sapo común, distribuidos en 110 botes de plástico donde pasarán el verano.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

FrogLog and Bd

There are several interesting articles on Bd in the new issue of FrogLog (e.g. an update on the global Bd mapping project). http://www.amphibians.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/froglog-107-low-res.pdf

Monday, 29 July 2013

Bd becomes more virulent as it spreads

A new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (here's the link to the paper) shows that Bd become more virulent as it spread through the Americas.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Temperature determines how amphibian populations respond to Bd

A team lead by Ben Doddington shows in a new paper that was recently published in Ecology that temperature determines the response of amphibian populations to Bd. Link to the abstract of the paper.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Monitoring Strategy for Eight Amphibian Species in French Guiana, South America

Although dramatic amphibian declines have been documented worldwide, only few of such events have been quantitatively documented for the tropical forests of South America. This is due partly to the fact that tropical amphibians are patchily distributed and difficult to detect. We tested three methods often used to monitor population trends in amphibian species in a remote lowland tropical forest of French Guiana. These methods are capture-mark-recapture (CMR), estimation of the number of calling males with repeated counts data and distance sampling, and rates of occupancy inferred by presence/absence data. We monitored eight diurnal, terrestrial amphibian species including five Dendrobatidae and three Bufonidae. 

Monitoring Strategy for Eight Amphibian Species in French Guiana, South America

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Site occupancy models in the analysis of environmental DNA presence/absence surveys: a case study of an emerging amphibian pathogen

Site occupancy models in the analysis of environmental DNA presence/absence surveys: a case study of an emerging amphibian pathogen

  1. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect species in aquatic environments such as ponds and streams is a powerful new technique with many benefits. However, species detection in eDNA-based surveys is likely to be imperfect, which can lead to underestimation of the distribution of a species.
  2. Site occupancy models account for imperfect detection and can be used to estimate the proportion of sites where a species occurs from presence/absence survey data, making them ideal for the analysis of eDNA-based surveys. Imperfect detection can result from failure to detect the species during field work (e.g. by water samples) or during laboratory analysis (e.g. by PCR).
  3. To demonstrate the utility of site occupancy models for eDNA surveys, we reanalysed a data set estimating the occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis using eDNA. Our reanalysis showed that the previous estimation of species occurrence was low by 5–10%. Detection probability was best explained by an index of the number of hosts (frogs) in ponds.
  4. Per-visit availability probability in water samples was estimated at 0·45 (95% CRI 0·32, 0·58) and per-PCR detection probability at 0·85 (95% CRI 0·74, 0·94), and six water samples from a pond were necessary for a cumulative detection probability >95%. A simulation study showed that when using site occupancy analysis, researchers need many fewer samples to reliably estimate presence and absence of species than without use of site occupancy modelling.
  5. Our analyses demonstrate the benefits of site occupancy models as a simple and powerful tool to estimate detection and site occupancy (species prevalence) probabilities despite imperfect detection. As species detection from eDNA becomes more common, adoption of appropriate statistical methods, such as site occupancy models, will become crucial to ensure that reliable inferences are made from eDNA-based surveys.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Diversity in Bd

There are now several papers which show that there is quite some genetic diversity in Bd, i.e. there are multiple including. One of them is the "evil strain" known as BdGPL. A new paper that is currently in press by a team of Korean scientists shows that there is even more diversity. These authors have identified new strains from Korea. Here's the link to the paper.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Chytridiomycosis and Seasonal Mortality of Tropical Stream

Assessing the effects of diseases on wildlife populations can be difficult in the absence of observed mortalities, but it is crucial for threat assessment and conservation. We performed an intensive capture-mark-recapture study across seasons and years to investigate the effect of chytridiomycosis on demographics in 2 populations of the threatened common mist frog (Litoria rheocola) in the lowland wet tropics of Queensland, Australia. Infection prevalence was the best predictor for apparent survival probability in adult males and varied widely with season (0–65%). Infection prevalence was highest in winter months when monthly survival probabilities were low (approximately 70%). Populations at both sites exhibited very low annual survival probabilities (12–15%) but high recruitment (71–91%), which resulted in population growth rates that fluctuated seasonally. Our results suggest that even in the absence of observed mortalities and continued declines, and despite host–pathogen co-existence for multiple host generations over almost 2 decades, chytridiomycosis continues to have substantial seasonally fluctuating population-level effects on amphibian survival, which necessitates increased recruitment for population persistence. Similarly infected populations may thus be under continued threat from chytridiomycosis which may render them vulnerable to other threatening processes, particularly those affecting recruitment success.

Chytridiomycosis and Seasonal Mortality of Tropical Stream-Associated Frogs 15 Years after Introduction of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - PHILLOTT - 2013 - Conservation Biology - Wiley Online Library

No Bd in Speleomantes

A new paper by Frank Pasmans and coauthors in the open access journal PLoS ONE shows that there is no Bd in Speleomantes salamanders. Pasmans et al. use experiments to show that Speleomantes salamanders appear to be resistant to Bd. http://www.plosone.org/article/metrics/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0063639

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

California frogs once used for pregnancy tests carry deadly fungus - latimes.com

Frogs that were imported for pregnancy tests and set loose in California carry a deadly fungus responsible for wiping out vast numbers of amphibians worldwide, scientists have found.
Populations of African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) have thrived for decades in the state’s drainage ditches and ponds, but their link with the deadly Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus was unverified until a research team from Stanford University and San Francisco State University recently tested museum samples for the fungus.


California frogs once used for pregnancy tests carry deadly fungus - latimes.com

Fatal fungus found in third major amphibian group, caecilians | Natural History Museum



It is known as the amphibian chytrid fungus and can cause a deadly disease that is decimating some of the world's frogs, toads, newts and salamanders. However, the fungus had not been detected in the other lesser-known major group of amphibians, the caecilians, until now.



Fatal fungus found in third major amphibian group, caecilians | Natural History Museum

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

PLOS ONE: Widespread Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Contemporary and Historical Samples of the Endangered Bombina pachypus along the Italian Peninsula

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is considered a main driver of the worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations. Nonetheless, fundamental questions about its epidemiology, including whether it acts mainly as a “lone killer” or in conjunction with other factors, remain largely open. In this paper we analysed contemporary and historical samples of the endangered Apennine yellow-bellied toad (Bombina pachypus) along the Italian peninsula, in order to assess the presence of the pathogen and its spreading dynamics. Once common throughout its range, B. pachypus started to decline after the mid-1990s in the northern and central regions, whereas no declines have been observed so far in the southern region. We show that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is currently widespread along the entire peninsula, and that this was already so at least as early as the late 1970s, that is, well before the beginning of the observed declines. This temporal mismatch between pathogen occurrence and host decline, as well as the spatial pattern of the declines, suggests that the pathogen has not acted as a “lone killer”, but in conjunction with other factors. Among the potentially interacting factors, we identified two as the most probable, genetic diversity of host populations and recent climate changes. We discuss the plausibility of this scenario and its implications on the conservation of B. pachypus populations.
PLOS ONE: Widespread Occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Contemporary and Historical Samples of the Endangered Bombina pachypus along the Italian Peninsula

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bd on Sardinia


A new paper out on-line at Diversity and Distributions, co-authored by members of RACE and the NGO Zirichiltaggi describes geographic and host patterns of infection in Sardinian amphibians. Infection was only detected in two of the species found on the island, one endemic and threatened and one near-endemic and considered not threatened by the IUCN. Based on species-specific patterns of habitat use, the authors also conclude that infection is predominantly maintained through intraspecific transmission. Buona lettura!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Chytrid fungus '40,000 years old' | Story & Education Stories | The Australian

History, novelty, and emergence of an infectious amphibian disease Understanding the evolutionary history of microbial pathogens is critical for mitigating the impacts of emerging infectious diseases on economically and ecologically important host species. We used a genome resequencing approach to resolve the evolutionary history of an important microbial pathogen, the chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been implicated in amphibian declines worldwide. We sequenced the genomes of 29 isolates of Bd from around the world, with an emphasis on North, Central, and South America because of the devastating effect that Bd has had on amphibian populations in the New World. We found a substantial amount of evolutionary complexity in Bd with deep phylogenetic diversity that predates observed global amphibian declines. By investigating the entire genome, we found that even the most recently evolved Bd clade (termed the global panzootic lineage) contained more genetic variation than previously reported. We also found dramatic differences among isolates and among genomic regions in chromosomal copy number and patterns of heterozygosity, suggesting complex and heterogeneous genome dynamics. Finally, we report evidence for selection acting on the Bd genome, supporting the hypothesis that protease genes are important in evolutionary transitions in this group. Bd is considered an emerging pathogen because of its recent effects on amphibians, but our data indicate that it has a complex evolutionary history that predates recent disease outbreaks. Therefore, it is important to consider the contemporary effects of Bd in a broader evolutionary context and identify specific mechanisms that may have led to shifts in virulence in this system. Chytrid fungus '40,000 years old' | Story & Education Stories | The Australian

Saturday, 4 May 2013

No Bd in Lyciasalamandra (but Bd occurs in Turkey)

A new paper by Bayram Göçmen et al. published in the journal Salamandra (link) suggests that there is no Bd in the terrestrial salamanders of the genus Lyciasalamandra. Earlier this year, Chiari et al. reported in a paper published in Amphibia-Reptilia that there was no Bd in terrestrial Hydromantes salamanders and last year Lötters et al. published a paper in Salamandra showing that there was no Bd in the terrestrial Salamandra atra. Is it a general rule that there is no Bd in terrestrial salamanders?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Colombia Has a Wildlife Trafficking Problem | Motherboard

Colombia Has a Wildlife Trafficking Problem | Motherboard

We tend to think of the illegal wildlife trade as being centered in Africa, where elephants and rhinos are being poached with abandon, and Asia, where ivory, rhino horn, and everything from rare turtles to pangolins are prized. While that's a fair assessment, wildlife trafficking is a global business. Case in point: Colombian officials reportedly seized 64,507 animals from traffickers in 2012.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Strategic Plan to Mitigate the Threat of Chytridiomycosis in Panama

There is a new plan on how to deal with Bd and chytridiomycosis in Panama with an ambitious and important mission statement: "Our mission is to rescue and establish assurance colonies of amphibian species that are in extreme danger of extinction throughout Panama. We will also focus our efforts and expertise on developing methodologies to reduce the impact of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Bd) so that one day captive amphibians may be re-introduced to the wild." The link to the plan: http://www.amphibians.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Panama-Amphibian-Rescue-Strategic-Plan.pdf

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Evidence for the Introduction of Lethal Chytridiomycosis Affecting Wild Betic Midwife Toads

A new paper by RACE team members (led by Jaime Bosch) to be published in the journal EcoHealth provides evidence that Bd is an introduced pathogen: "Our data support the hypothesis that B. dendrobatidis has recently emerged in at least two disjunct locations in the species range and populations across much of the species range lack evidence of infection". Here is the link to the abstract.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

American Bullfrog Is Spreading Chytrid Through Commercial Trade

A team of scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), revealed in a new study, for the first time, the presence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibians sampled in Singapore. And the American bullfrog may be a central player in the spread of the disease. Check out the full story.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Wildlife disease spread by trade - a growing threat to amphibians

According to IUCN, there's a link between trade of amphibians and the spread of pathogens. Read the full text here.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Mapping the presence of Bd worldwide

The global Bd-Mapping paper is now online in PLoS One. Please submit your data!
Figure 1 Global distribution of the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).

Monday, 25 February 2013

RACE Stakeholder Meeting in Brussels

STAKEHOLDER MEETING

*******************************************

VENUE

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres e.V.
Brussels Office; Rue du Trône 98 (sixth floor)
1050 Brussels, BELGIUM

DATE

26 February 2013
If you are interested, please contact Mark Auliya To: mark.auliya@ufz.de
Subject: RACE – Stakeholder Meeting
********************************************

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (SUBJECT TO CHANGES)

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Morning: oral presentations (10-15 min) on topics around the chytrid fungus:
* genetics * understanding its epidemiology * the problem with exotic amphibians and pathogens * * what can we do to mitigate this disease * policy implications *
Noon: Lunch discussion
Afternoon: Round-table discussion
Find more information in our brochure

Opinion piece of David Wake

In the last 2 decades, field biologists discovered nearly 3,000 new species of amphibians. At the end of July 2012, the total number of amphibian species hit 7,000 with the addition of a high elevation glassfrog (Centrolene sabini) from Manu National Park in Amazonian Peru. At the same time, however, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has identified amphibians as the major taxon at the greatest risk of extinction, with 41 percent of amphibian species at risk as of June 2012, and anywhere from 125 to 500 species already extinct. The full article here

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Action Plan for Alytes obstetricans and chytridiomycosis

The European Union published an Action Plan for the conservation of the Midwife toad Alytes obstetricans (the pdf [1 MB] can be found here). The members of the RACE team, Jaime Bosch and Benedikt Schmidt, contributed to the Action Plan which includes a section on chytridiomycosis.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No Bd in Hydromantes

A new paper by Ylenia Chiari et al. which was published in Amphibia-Reptilia shows that there is no Bd in Hydromantes salamanders. This is good news since RACE team members have shown that other species on Sardinia suffer from lethal chytridiomycosis. Link to the paper here.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

No Bd in West Africa

A new paper published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that there is no Bd in West Africa, even in a species that if often found in the trade. The paper (open access) can be found here (link).

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New Bd distribution data on maps

New data from a study on Bd in Germany which was published in the journal Salamandra were added to the maps. This is an important addition because it's data from Bd-positive and Bd-negative sites from a country were there is not much data yet.