The challenges we face as a global community in the wake of emerging amphibian diseases may seem daunting and insurmountable at times. This is especially true in light of the threat that the recently discovered chytrid Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans poses to salamanders on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly diseases like this are a reality of our time and the only way we will win the war against disease-driven declines and extinctions is through broad, collaborative and innovative approaches. We must pool our resources, expertise and our passions.
Researchers and conservationists are working around the clock pioneering cutting edge tactics to prevent the mass die-offs that we have witnessed before. This edition of FrogLog will put you right on the front lines in the fight against these deadly pathogens. Go behind the scenes, meet the people and learn more about the groundbreaking research and applications that may one day stop these diseases in their tracks. Below is a summary of some of the issues and questions you can read about in this edition:
- A new study discovered that frogs in captivity retain much of their pathogen-fighting microbial communities. Does this mean that one day the Panamanian natural golden frog could be returned to the wild? Researchers are investigating anti-Bd probiotics as a way to make this happen.
- How are wildlife professionals battling amphibian declines and what lies ahead through research, monitoring and on-the-ground management?
- How are scientists using genetics to solve chytrid puzzles?
- How do habitat destruction and chytrid add up to one thing: extinction?
- How can citizen scientists contribute to disease monitoring?
- What are the options for mitigating disease in places like Madagascar?
Through these pages you will quickly realize that there is unfortunately no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” solution to this challenge. And that’s what makes this seem like an uphill battle. But it’s not a battle that each of us has to face on our own.
As we move into 2015, the Alliance has invested a total of $427,211.28, awarded 22 grants (several of which you will read about in the following pages), supported 18 priority species and protected 5,860 hectares of important amphibian habitat worldwide. We’re making real progress and the momentum is continuing to build. All of this has only been made possible thanks to the dedicated commitment of Alliance Partners and individuals such as yourself working towards a shared goal. The Alliance is continuing to coordinate funding for disease monitoring and support the development of disease mitigation tools. There’s a lot more to do and we call on conservation-minded individuals like you to help in this fight. If your organization wants to be a part of this global movement please get in touch.
In the face of pathogens like Bd, Dr. Matt Becker makes a fantastic point in an article starting on page 31. “The more people we have working on a solution, the better. Maybe the solution doesn’t end up being probiotics. I really don’t care what the solution is, as long as we can stop the spread of Bd…” The Alliance supports Dr. Becker’s viewpoint as we support multiple strategies and combinations of strategies.
There’s a role each of us can play in saving these amphibians. Tell your friends. Make a donation. Become a partner. Sign up for our mailing list. Follow us on Facebook. Join us Twitter. If we can all come together and find common ground then we will make real progress on the many threats amphibians face. It won’t be easy and it’s a long tough road ahead but as I always say, there is great strength in numbers. We can—and we will—win.
Candace M. Hansen-Hendrikx
TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWS FROM THE AMPHIBIAN SURVIVAL ALLIANCE
4 AmphibiaWeb and the Amphibian Survival Alliance Partner to Collate and Share the World’s Amphibian Data
4 Leapfrog Conservation Fund
5 Carlos Vasquez Almazan Wins the 2014 Sabin Award for Amphibian Conservation
7 Scaling up the Global Response to Emerging Amphibian Diseases Through the Alliance
9 ASA and BHS Partnering to Fund the Future of Amphibian Conservation, Research and Education Through Seed Grants
10 Of Dogs and Frogs: Sniffing out one of South Africa’s Most Threatened Amphibians
13 Ecology and Populations Status of two Endangered Species of Urodela in Edough Peninsula (Annaba, Algeria)
NEW FROM THE AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITY
14 Frogs of Madagascar: A Second ACSAM Workshop to Prevent a Crisis
17 Taxonomic Changes: An Attempt to Overcome the Linnean Shortfalls for Brazilian Amphibians
17 Salamanders: World Icons of Aquatic Biodiversity in Forests 18 Surveillance Methods for Amphibian Ranaviruses—Call for Participation
18 A Selection of Smithsonian Herpetological Information Services Publications on Amphibians
19 Getting Physical for Amphibians
21 WWF Education for Nature Program Supports Conservationists Worldwide
23 Non-Traditional Ways of Raising Awareness for Frog Conservation: Guido Daniele’s Handimal of Boophis luteus From Madagascar
25 Trouble in the Aquatic World: How Wildlife Professionals are Battling Amphibian Declines
28 The Disappearing Frogs Project: Call for Artists
SPECIAL EDITION: AMPHIBIAN DISEASES & DISEASE MITIGATION TECHNIQUES
29 New Study Finds That Frogs in Captivity Retain Much of Their Pathogen-Fighting Microbial Community
31 What are our Options? An Overview of Disease Mitigation Strategies for Madagascar
33 The Contribution of Citizen Scientists to Amphibian Disease Monitoring in Ireland
35 Scientists Turn to Genetics to Solve Chytrid’s Puzzle
37 Is Habitat Destruction More Dangerous for Atelopus Than Chytrid?
38 When Infection is Common but Declines are not Apparent: the Influence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Exposure on Midwestern Amphibians
40 Frog Body Temperature Influences how the Chytrid Pathogen Grows and Reproduces
42 Bd in Nicaragua: Confirmation of the Inevitable
43 A Q&A with Amphibian Immunologist Dr. Louise Rollins-Smith
45 Ranavirus Outbreaks in Northwest Spain: Time to Act
47 Itraconazole Treatment Reduces Chytrid and Increases Overwinter Survival in Wild Frogs