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

Voyles, Jamie, Cashins, Scott D., Rosenblum, Erica Bree, and Puschendorf, Robert (2009) Preserving pathogens for wildlife conservation: a case for action on amphibian declines. Oryx, 43 (4). pp. 527-529.

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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.

Item ID: 10554
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-3008
Keywords: amphibian declines; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; chytridiomycosis; pathogen preservation; wildlife disease
Date Deposited: 14 May 2010 04:35
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060307 Host-Parasite Interactions @ 75%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 75%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 25%
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