Friday, November 26, 2010

World Congress of Herpetolgy 2008 Articles On-Line

The journal Animal Conservation (Volume 13, Supplement s1, December, 2010) has published excerpts from the 6th World Congress of Herpetology which was held in 2008 in Manaus, Brazil. The volume contains 12 articles that focus on invasive species and the spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus. An introductory article by Robert Reed and Fred Krause point out that while some invasive amphibian and reptile species have received a significant amount of attention, such as: the Brown Treesnake, Boiga irregularis on Guam; the Burmese python, Python molurus (=bivittatus) in Florida; the Coquí, Eleutherodactylus coqui, in Hawaii; and the cane toad, Bufo (=Rhinella) marinus, in Australia; other invasive species are poorly known, and emerging as threats to native species and human economies. These include: the Nile Monitor, Varanus niloticus in Florida; the Common Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula, in the Canary Islands; the boa constrictors, Boa constrictor, on Aruba and Cozumel; and a variety of giant constrictors in Puerto Rico. Also of interest is an article by Schloegel and colleagues that suggests the global trade in the North American Bullfrog, Rana (=Litobates) catesbeiana, as a cause for the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Apparently farms for breeding the North American bullfrog in Brazil were established in the 1930's, shortly after the frog was introduced into the country. Bullfrogs are farmed for human food and the authors investigated the farms to determine if they serve as reservoirs for amphibian disease. They were able to confirm B. dendrobatidis on five farms (78.5% infection prevalence overall) by PCR. This study shows that B. dendrobatidis is prevalent in farmed North American bullfrogs in two Brazilian states (São Paulo and Pará); that that bullfrogs were not dying as the result of infection; a large proportion of the frogs on each farm were infected; when B. dendrobatidis is present in a farm population, it occurs at a high prevalence but a low intensity; and their results support earlier findings from captive and wild bullfrog populations that Litobates catesbeiana are efficient carriers of this pathogen.

The articles are open access and can be found at Wiley Online.

Reed, R. N. and F. Kraus. 2010. Invasive reptiles and amphibians: global perspectives and local solutions. Animal Conservation, 13:3–4. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00409.x

Schloegel, L. M., C. M. Ferreira, T. Y. James, M. Hipolito, J. E. Longcore, A. D. Hyatt, M. Yabsley, A. M. C. R F. Martins, R. Mazzoni, A. J. Davies, and P. Daszak, 2010. The North American bullfrog as a reservoir for the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Brazil. Animal Conservation, 13:53–61. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00307.x

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