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Amphibian Population Management in Southern Europe to contain and Eliminate a local outbreak of Batrachochytrium Salamandrivorans (BSAL)

AuthorsVila-Escalé, Mireia; Fernández-Giberteau, Daniel; Carranza, Salvador ; Ferran, Albert; Pannon, Pep; Picart, Mariona; Perez-Sorribes, Laia; Molina, Carolina; Tarrago, Aïdo; Canessa, Stefano; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank
Issue Date2019
CitationXX European Congress of Herpetology (2019)
AbstractWe report an outbreak of Bsal in a wild amphibian population of southern Europe. The infection was detected in March 2018, in a small reservoir inside a natural protected area of Catalonia (northeastern Spain), resulting in high mortality of Triturus marmoratus. Analyses of the amphibian population detected Bsal, B. dendrobatidis (Bd) and Ranavirus. The early detection of the chytrid infection facilitated a quick intervention to try to eradicate the outbreak by isolating the infected area (“ground zero”), managing the affected amphibian population and monitoring the surrounding populations within the same valley. The infected area was fenced to prevent the access. The stream that fed the reservoir was diverted and a central pond was modified as an amphibians trap to remove as much animals from the population as possible. The traps and ground zero were checked twice a week and all amphibians were preserved and tested for emergent diseases. Temperature data loggers were placed for long-term monitoring. A strict biosecurity protocol has been in place and the workers involved have been fully trained. 1,323 individuals of 10 amphibian species were captured in 2018 and, in autumn-winter 2018-19, all sampled individuals tested negative. In spring 2019, new cases of Bsal infection were detected, affecting T. marmoratus and Salamandra salamandra. The infection has not extended beyond ground zero. Interestingly, Bd has not been detected since autumn 2018. This finding demonstrates that even quick and rigorous action is not sufficient to eradicate Bsal from natural populations and stresses the need for long-term disease management.
DescriptionPresentation given at the XX European Congress of Herpetology, held in Milan (Italy), on 2-6th September 2019.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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