Skip to main content
×
Home

Preserving pathogens for wildlife conservation: a case for action on amphibian declines

  • Jamie Voyles (a1), Scott D. Cashins (a2), Erica Bree Rosenblum (a3) and Robert Puschendorf (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

Infectious disease is an important driver in biological systems but its importance in conservation has historically been underestimated. Recently, however, researchers have increasingly recognized the impact of diseases on wildlife populations and have grappled with disease-related conservation challenges. For example, the phenomenon of worldwide amphibian declines caused by the fungal disease chytridiomycosis has contributed to the creation of a global Amphibian Conservation Action Plan. The sense of urgency in the protection of amphibians and mitigation of the effects of chytridiomycosis is well-warranted but determining the best way to respond to chytridiomycosis is challenging. Current conservation strategies focus on the preservation of the amphibian hosts, their habitats and their genetic materials. However, we suggest that to confront disease threats fully, particularly in the case of amphibian declines, insight into host–pathogen coevolution may be critical and we must therefore also preserve the pathogen for basic disease research. Here we outline priority targets for virulence research and urge researchers and managers to isolate and archive the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to ensure viable long-term amphibian conservation.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, Amphibian Disease Ecology Group, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia. E-mail jamie.voyles@gmail.com
References
Hide All
Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (2006) Threat Abatement Plan: Infection of Amphibians With Chytrid Fungus Resulting in Chytridiomycosis. Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia. Http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/chytrid [accessed 9 November 2008].
Berger L., Marantelli G., Skerratt L.F. & Speare R. (2005) Virulence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis varies with the strain. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 68, 4750.
Berger L., Speare R., Daszak P., Green D.E., Cunningham A.A., Goggin C.L. et al. . (1998) Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 95, 9031.
Berger L., Speare R., Hines H.B., Marantelli G., Hyatt A.D., McDonald K.R. et al. . (2004) Effect of season and temperature on mortality in amphibians due to chytridiomycosis. Australian Veterinary Journal, 82, 434439.
Boyle D.G., Hyatt A.D., Daszak P., Berger L., Longcore J.E., Porter D. et al. . (2003) Cryo-archiving of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and other chytridiomycetes. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 56, 5964.
Briggs C.J., Vredenburg V.T., Knapp R.A. & Rachowicz L.J. (2005) Investigating the population-level effects of chytridiomycosis: an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. Ecology, 86, 31493159.
Cashins S.D., Skerratt L.F. & Alford R.A. (in press) Effect of sample collection techniques on sensitivity of real time PCR assay for detecting the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Veterinary Microbiology.
Daszak P., Cunningham A.A. & Hyatt A.D. (2000) Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife—threats to biodiversity and human health. Science, 287, 443449.
de Castro F. & Bolker B. (2005) Mechanisms of disease-induced extinction. Ecology Letters, 8, 117126.
Di Rosa I., Simoncelli F., Fagotti A. & Pascolini R. (2007) Ecology: the proximate cause of frog declines? Nature, 447, E4E5.
Fisher M.C., Bosch J., Yin Z., Stead D.A., Walker J., Selway L. et al. . (2009) Proteomic and phenotypic profiling of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis shows that genotype is linked to virulence. Molecular Ecology, 18, 415429.
Gascon C., Collins J.P., Moore R.D., Church D.R., McKay J.E. & Mendelson J.R. (2007) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, Proceedings: IUCN/SSC Amphibian Conservation Summit 2005. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Global Bd Banking Project (2009) Http://www.bdbank.org [accessed 6 August 2009].
Hudson P.J., Rizzoli A. & Bryan G. (2002) The Ecology of Wildlife Diseases. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Kang S., Blair J.E., Geiser D.M., Khang C.H., Park S.Y., Gahegan M. et al. . (2006) Plant pathogen culture collections: it takes a village to preserve these resources vital to the advancement of agricultural security and plant pathology. Phytopathology, 96, 920925.
Kuiken T., Leighton F.A., Fouchier R.A., LeDuc J.W., Peiris J.S., Schudel A. et al. . (2005) Pathogen surveillance in animals. Science, 309, 16801681.
Lips K.R., Brem F., Brenes R., Reeve J.D., Alford R.A., Voyles J. et al. . (2006) Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a Neotropical amphibian community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 103, 31653170.
Longcore J.E., Pessier A.P. & Nichols D.K. (1999) Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis gen. et sp. nov., a chytrid pathogenic to amphibians. Mycologia, 91, 219227.
Mendelson J.R. III, Lips K.R., Gagliardo R.W., Rabb G.B., Collins J.P., Diffendorfer J.E. et al. . (2006) Confronting amphibian declines and extinctions. Science, 313, 48.
Mitchell K.M., Churcher T.S., Garner T.W.J. & Fisher M.C. (2008) Persistence of the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis outside the amphibian host greatly increases the probability of host extinction. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275, 329334.
Morgan J.A.T., Vredenburg V.T., Rachowicz L.J., Knapp R.A., Stice M.J., Tunstall T. et al. . (2007) Population genetics of the frog-killing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 104, 13845.
Pounds J.A., Carnaval A.C., Puschendorf R., Haddad C.F.B. & Masters K.L. (2007) Action on amphibian extinctions: going beyond the reductive. Science (E-Letter, 28 August 2007), 313.
Puschendorf R., Carnaval A.C., VanDerWal J., Zumbado-Ulate H., Chaves G., Bolaños F. & Alford R.A. (2009) Distribution models for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Costa Rica: proposing climatic refuges as a conservation tool. Diversity and Distributions, 15, 401408.
Rachowicz L.J., Hero J.M., Alford R.A., Taylor J.W., Morgan J.A.T., Vredenburg V.T. et al. . (2005) The novel and endemic pathogen hypotheses: competing explanations for the origin of emerging infectious diseases of wildlife. Conservation Biology, 19, 14411448.
Retallick R.W.R. & Miera V. (2007) Strain differences in the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and non-permanent, sub-lethal effects of infection. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 75, 201207.
Rollins-Smith L.A., Doersam J.K., Longcore J.E., Taylor S.K., Shamblin J.C., Carey C. & Zasloff M.A. (2002) Antimicrobial peptide defenses against pathogens associated with global amphibian declines. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 26, 6372.
Ron S. (2005) Predicting the distribution of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the New World. Biotropica, 37, 209221.
Rosenblum E.B., Stajich J.E., Maddox N. & Eisen M.B. (2008) Global gene expression profiles for life stages of the deadly amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105, 17034.
Schlaepfer M.A. (2007) Is there a role for evolutionary management in addressing the threat of chytridiomycosis? Science (E-Letter, 23 March 2007), 313.
Scott M.E. (1988) The impact of infection and disease on animal populations: implications for conservation biology. Conservation Biology, 2, 4056.
Skerratt L.F., Berger L., Hines H.B., McDonald K.R., Mendez D. & Speare R. (2008) Survey protocol for detecting chytridiomycosis in all Australian frog populations. Ecohealth, 80, 8594.
Thorne E. & Williams E.S. (1988) Disease and endangered species: the black-footed ferret as a recent example. Conservation Biology, 2, 6674.
Voyles J., Berger L., Young S., Speare R., Webb R., Warner J. et al. . (2007) Electrolyte depletion and osmotic imbalance in amphibians with chytridiomycosis. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 77, 113118.
Whiles M.R., Lips K.R., Pringle C.M., Kilham S.S., Bixby R.J., Brenes R. et al. . (2006) The effects of amphibian population declines on the structure and function of Neotropical stream ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 4, 2734.
Woodhams D.C., Alford R.A. & Marantelli G. (2003) Emerging disease of amphibians cured by elevated body temperature. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 55, 6567.
Woodhams D.C., Ardipradja K., Alford R.A., Marantelli G., Reinert L.K. & Rollins-Smith L.A. (2007) Resistance to chytridiomycosis varies among amphibian species and is correlated with skin peptide defenses. Animal Conservation, 10, 409417.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 104 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 14th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.