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Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama


Woodhams, D C; Kilburn, V L; Reinert, L K; Voyle, J; Medina, D; Ibanez, R; Hyatt, A D; Boyle, D G; Pask, J D; Green, D M; Rollins-Smith, L A (2008). Chytridiomycosis and amphibian population declines continue to spread eastward in Panama. EcoHealth, 5(3):268-274.

Abstract

Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population
declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term
monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberanı´a National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found
further east at Tort&#305;´ (prevalence <7.5% with 95% confidence). Our results suggest that Panama’s diverse and not fully described amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood.
However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tort&#305;´ and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently needed.

Abstract

Chytridiomycosis is a globally emerging disease of amphibians and the leading cause of population
declines and extirpations at species-diverse montane sites in Central America. We continued long-term
monitoring efforts for the presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and for amphibian populations at two sites in western Panama, and we began monitoring at three new sites to the east. Population declines associated with chytridiomycosis emergence were detected at Altos de Campana National Park. We also detected Bd in three species east of the Panama Canal at Soberan&#305;´a National Park, and prevalence data suggests that Bd may be enzootic in the lowlands of the park. However, no infected frogs were found
further east at Tort&#305;´ (prevalence <7.5% with 95% confidence). Our results suggest that Panama’s diverse and not fully described amphibian communities east of the canal are at risk. Precise predictions of future disease emergence events are not possible until factors underlying disease emergence, such as dispersal, are understood.
However, if the fungal pathogen spreads in a pattern consistent with previous disease events in Panama, then detection of Bd at Tort&#305;´ and other areas east of the Panama Canal is imminent. Therefore, development of new management strategies and increased precautions for tourism, recreation, and biology are urgently needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, chytridiomycosis, emerging disease, Panama, population declines
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:13 Feb 2009 14:55
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 17:22
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-9202
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-008-0190-0
PubMed ID:18807089

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