Emerging Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are considered one of the leading threats to amphibians around the world, causing population declines and extinctions even in relatively pristine areas. Diseases such as Chytridiomycosis, caused by two fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal), have been particularly devastating. These diseases can interact with other threats to amphibians, including habitat loss, climate change, and pollution, exacerbating amphibian loss.

ASA is working actively to support and promote conservation initiatives and management-focused research that aims to tackle and provide mechanisms to minimize the impact of these devastating diseases. ASA funds research into disease mitigation, including research into finding effective locally-occurring probiotics for fighting Bd and Bsal. ASA provides seed grants to support research and conservation projects. ASA is highlighting the impacts of amphibian disease and potential intervention strategies through messaging about current research advances and conservation successes on social media and other channels.

ASA is committed to minimizing the impact of infectious diseases on amphibian populations. Our approach is multi-faceted:

  • Research Funding: ASA funds research projects that focus on disease mitigation. This includes studies aimed at finding effective, locally-occurring probiotics that can combat Bd and Bsal.
  • Seed Grants: We provide seed grants to kickstart research and conservation projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on disease control.
  • Awareness and Education: Through social media and other channels, ASA highlights the impacts of amphibian diseases and shares potential intervention strategies based on current research advances and conservation successes.

If you encounter a die-off of amphibians or an amphibian that appears to be diseased in the US or Canada, you can use the Herpetofaunal Disease Alert System (HDAS). To report a possible case:

  • Email: Send an email to [email protected].
  • Include: Your name, email address for follow-up questions, date of observation, what you saw, where it was, types of animals involved (species and life stage), and whether it is ongoing.
  • Photos: Attach any photos or other relevant information to the email.

Federal, State, or Provincial contacts for herpetofaunal diseases will be alerted, and they may contact you for additional information. This system helps facilitate early detection and rapid response actions, where possible, and aids in understanding the scope and severity of emerging infectious diseases.

ASA Disease Mitigation Grants

The Amphibian Survival Alliance is committed to tackling infectious diseases, a critical challenge in amphibian conservation. Supported by Synchronicity Earth’s Amphibian Endowment Fund, our Disease Mitigation Grants offer financial assistance for projects focused on developing effective disease management strategies. We prioritize supporting projects that:

  • Develop disease management strategies
  • Inform policy through research
  • Foster collaboration across scientific and conservation disciplines
  • Implement biosecurity measures to prevent disease spread