Thursday, 26 December 2013

Microscopic Aquatic Predators Dictate Infection Dynamics of a Globally Emerged Pathogen

Solving a part of the puzzle of the distribution of the most deadly wildlife pathogen. The results raise the hope of a form of Bd biocontrol, one that lacks the downsides associated with introducing non-native biocontrol agents, such as the use of antifungal chemicals or release of non-native skin bacteria into the environment, or the reliance of unpredictable environmental temperature to 'cure' infections.

Microscopic Aquatic Predators Strongly Affect Infection Dynamics of a Globally Emerged Pathogen

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Where are all the Western Toads? « Bay Nature

Where are all the Western Toads?

Earlier this year the U.S. Geological Survey’s Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative released the first estimate of how fast we are losing amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) across the country. The study found there was a 3.7 percent average annual rate of decline for all populations of amphibians monitored, while species listed on the IUCN Red list are experiencing an average 11.6 percent decline. While these numbers seem slight, small declines build up dramatically over time.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

IPBES-2 in Antalya

At the IPBES-2, currently hold in Antalya, the work program of this Intergovernmental Panel is discussed. Part of the work program comprises invasive species and wildlife diseases, hence, they are very relevant to RACE and research on wildlife diseases carried out. The RACE-Brief as well as the RACE Policy Brief have been distributed here in Antalya with a total number of 250 copies. The MEP of the IPBES, as well as several countries have shown great interest in the work conducted by RACE, with Robert Watson being very excited to receive a full information package on Bd. Many discussions resulted from the distribution of the information with delegates from around the world, including Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. In many cases, only vague ideas and information on Bd and other wildlife diseases were present. The delegates and stakeholders were happy to receive first hand information from RACE. Generally, there is a great chance that the Bd work could become an example for the work of the IPBES.

Horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2014 lists probiotic anti-Bd therapy as an important topic

From the paper: "Many amphibian populations in relatively pristine habitats are in decline or are becoming extirpated due to the skin disease chytridiomycosis. Probiotic therapy through bioaugmentation is now emerging as a potential solution for mitigating this disease. The microbiome, the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live within and upon every organism, has become a growing area of human health research, but relatively little attention has been paid to the nonhuman microbiome. Bioaugmentation could both facilitate reintroduction of amphibians to areas from which they have been extirpated and reduce the magnitude of declines in areas not yet affected by chytridiomycosis. Although the concept of probiotic therapy is promising, laboratory and field experiments on treatment of amphibians with probiotic baths have yielded mixed results, and the method has not yet been applied over large natural areas. Potential environmental effects of bioaugmentation on nontarget amphibians and other taxonomic groups are not well known." The pdf (open access) can be found here: