Amphibians are declining worldwide. Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) was identified 15 years ago as one of the primary causes of death for many amphibians. However, the ecology and epidemiology of Bd is still being investigated. A second type of chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, Bsal) is emerging in Europe and affecting salamanders.
USGS formed the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to lead a cooperative national effort that is monitoring amphibians and researching potential causes of decline, including disease.
USGS is proactively responding to the threat of Bsal:
Blackrock: Biological Hotspot and Hotbed of Collaboration — Fort Collins Science Center
Amphibian Disease — Northern Rocky Mountains Science Center
Disease — Amphibian Research and Monitoring (ARMI)
In 2016 ARMI and National Wildlife Health Center scientists conducted a nationwide sampling effort to detect the salamander chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Bsal is native to Asia where indigenous salamanders carry the fungus without disease symptoms. However, Bsal has been spread through human facilitation to Europe where it has been implicated in major population die-offs of wild salamanders...
Amphibians, including threatened and endangered species like the Oregon Spotted Frog, may benefit from a recent study that highlights the use of promising tools...
In this episode, we follow a group of students from the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School on a class trip to Pintail Marsh at the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. There they join USGS ecologist Tara Chestnut to investigate and sample for the amphibian chytrid fungus. Join us, as we explore how research and wonder can bring greater light to this potentially fatal fungus, only in this episode of the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.
The potentially lethal fungal disease chytridiomycosis has been associated with declining amphibian populations around the globe. This rapidly emerging disease, and the chytrid fungus that causes it, have forced scientists to scramble to learn more. There are still plenty of mysteries about the origin and spread of the fungus. With today's episode we will shed some light on what we know and what we can expect for the future of amphibians. Join us as we interview USGS ecologists Mike Adams and Tara Chestnut, as well as USGS hydrologist Chauncey Anderson.
A newly identified fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), is responsible for mass mortality events and severe population declines in European salamanders. The eastern USA has the highest diversity of salamanders in the world and the introduction of this pathogen is likely to be devastating.
Royal Society Open Science, February 2016
The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity.
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1233, January 2016
Global spread of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) may involve dispersal mechanisms not previously explored. Weather systems accompanied by strong wind and rainfall have been known to assist the dispersal of microbes pathogenic to plants and animals, and we considered a similar phenomenon might occur with Bd. We investigated this concept by sampling rainwater from 20 precipitation events for the presence of Bd in Cusuco National Park, Honduras: a site where high Bd prevalence was previously detected in stream-associated amphibians.
Aerobiologia, March 2015