Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycoses in nature

Product Type: 

Journal Article

Year: 

2016

Author(s): 

Garner, Trenton W. J., Benedikt R. Schmidt, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Erin L. Muths, Andrew A. Cunningham, Che Weldon, Matthew C. Fisher, and Jaime Bosch

Suggested Citation: 

Garner, Trenton W. J., Benedikt R. Schmidt, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Erin L. Muths, Andrew A. Cunningham, Che Weldon, Matthew C. Fisher, and Jaime Bosch. 2016. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycoses in nature. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0207

Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.

      

Erin Muths
Erin MuthsJaime Bosch