Evidence for the Introduction of Lethal Chytridiomycosis Affecting Wild Alytes dickhilleni

Jaime Bosch, David García-Alonso, Saioa Fernández-Beaskoetxea, Matthew C. Fisher and Trenton W. J. Garner.  EcoHealth, March 2013. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is an unpredictable pathogen for European amphibian species, and existing field surveillance studies likely underestimate the scope of its distribution and effects. Mass mortality episodes recorded in Europe indicate that investigations of unstudied species should focus on members of the frog family Alytidae. Here, we report the combined results of a field survey and laboratory observations of field collected Alytes dickhilleni. 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 pathogen. Tadpoles taken into the laboratory from sites with infection experienced 70% mortality, unlike those taken into the laboratory from uninfected sites, and both infection and strength of infection was associated with mortality in animals collected from infected locations. Several conservation interventions are underway in response to our study, including the establishment of a captive assurance colony, a public awareness campaign, and experimental tests of disease mitigation schemes. Ir al enlace.