Thursday, 11 September 2014

Frogmarching to disaster



Frogmarching to disaster | mydigitalfc.com



The most significant catchphrase of our times is ‘threatened by
extinction.’ Frogs are no exception, after having thrived on earth for
aeons, just like other hapless species. The tragic part is that the true
groundswell of concern for their impending doom, or plight, is yet to
gain momentum on a global scale, like other environmental issues. If
this is not just the tip of the iceberg, but a ‘titanic’ leapfrog to
disaster, what is? Go figure. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Can hungry microbes save the world’s imperiled frogs? | Grist





Whatever happens to Bd may have wider implications for efforts to manage other species-decimating fungal diseases, like white nose syndrome, which is wiping out hibernating bats in the U.S., or fungus-associated colony collapse disorder in honeybees.
“I am hopeful that it will be possible to reverse the harm these
diseases have done,” Schmeller says. “Otherwise I would dig my grave and
jump in.” He’s still kicking, so we’ll take his word for it.



Check out the whole story here:

Can hungry microbes save the world’s imperiled frogs? | Grist

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Madagascar Could Be on the Brink of Invasion by Asian Toad

Madagascar Could Be on the Brink of Invasion by Asian Toad



The Asian toad looks poised to mount an invasion of Madagascar, potentially setting off an ecological disaster in a country known for its unique animal species.
About 92 percent of Madagascar's mammals and 95 percent of its reptiles are found nowhere else on Earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund. For animals that haven't evolved to deal with a predator like the Asian toad, disease and lack of defense are big concerns, researchers warn in a letter published 29.05.2014 in Nature.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Bd-Maps partners with the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA)

Bd-Maps has partnered with the Amphibian Survival Alliance to seek further development of this community tool for the purposes of globally-mapping amphibian diseases. There is an urgent need to incorporate data as near to real-time as possible in order to track outbreaks - this need is clearly highlighted by the rapid emergence of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (see below). Partnership with the ASA will further the outreach and development of this tool.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans spread into Belgium

The emergence of Bsal in the Netherlands appears to be spreading, with now two sites in Belgium now know to be infected and suffering mortality- Eupen and now Robertville. The zone of infection now encompasses 64 km, with large forested areas of Germany now close to the infected area.

http://www.amphibians.org/news/second-population-of-fire-salamanders-hit-hard

Clearly, biosecurity needs to be very closely adhered to in these infected regions, and those close by, if further spread is to be slowed.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Interacting Symbionts and Immunity in the Amphibian Skin Mucosome Predict Disease Risk and Probiotic Effectiveness

A new paper by Doug Woodhams and collaborators shows that the amphibian skin mucosome predicts the risk of Bd infection and the effectiveness of probiotic therapy. The authors used data from www.bd-maps.eu. The paper was published in PLoS ONE (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0096375).

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Frog-Killing Fungus Meets Its Match in Hidden World of Tiny Predators | The Artful Amoeba, Scientific American Blog Network

Dirk Schmeller, Adeline Loyau, Frank Pasmans, Mark Blooi, and their colleagues have discovered that, at least in the alpine lakes of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, tiny predatory microbes can put the disease-causing fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, soundly in its place. They do this because the fungus has relatives in the lake that look and act similarly, and these fungi make up a natural part of these microbes’ diets. These native microscopic fungi dine on detritus, not frogs. But to micropredatores, the spores of Bd look just like their regular breakfasts, and are evidently just as tasty.



Frog-Killing Fungus Meets Its Match in Hidden World of Tiny Predators | The Artful Amoeba, Scientific American Blog Network