Amphibian trade workshop: Identifying the threats, species most at risk and next steps

Workshop attendees © Alejandra Goyenechea The Singapore Zoo, the Animal Welfare Institute, Defenders of Wildlife and the Amphibian Survival Alliance joined forces in March 2015 to host two international amphibian trade workshops. On March 12th and 13th two teams of amphibian and trade specialists from academia, government, and non-governmental organizations gathered at parallel workshops in [...]

Part 3 of 3: Scaling up the global response to emerging amphibian diseases

In our previous post we stressd that all evidence currently available suggests that Bsal has not yet arrived in the U.S. and so our primary focus is to push forward policy actions and work with importers to keep it out. [vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][text_output]However, we don't know how effective existing voluntary measures are in keeping diseases from invading [...]

Part 2 of 3: Scaling up the global response to emerging amphibian diseases

We already have a very sensitive test for Bsal which is a major step towards being able to effectively deal with this problem. The diagnostic test protocol is to swab individual salamanders and then use TaqMan qPCR with primers designed to detect Bsal. [vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][text_output]This method is published and uses the same qPCR technique used [...]

Part 1 of 3: Scaling up the global response to emerging amphibian diseases

By now most of you will have read the highly anticipated paper by Dr. An Martel from Ghent University in Belgium and her colleagues that reports on the new species of chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) which is now threatening salamander species around the world.[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][text_output] This recently discovered chytrid is lethal to salamanders such as Fire [...]

Temperature treatment in salamanders to combat a nasty fungus

Figure 1. Photos © Mark Blooi Since the description and subsequent discovery of the origins of the novel fungal disease Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) the world’s amphibian conservationists have gone in full alert. Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra terrestris) populations in the Netherlands and Belgium have crashed to the brink of local extinction due to the fungus. The [...]