Symposium: Current research on amphibians and reptiles in the Upper Midwest
10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Tue
Co-authors: Ty Pan, C.J. Robinson, and Megan Winzeler, USGS National Wildlife Health Center
Title: Current and emerging chytrid disease threats to Wisconsin amphibians: Bd and Bsal
Abstract: Fungal pathogens are emerging threats to wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians. Batrachochytrium is a fungal genus containing 2 pathogens that cause amphibian disease and mortality. B. dendrobatidis (Bd) is a well-known pathogen that has had impacted anuran populations and biodiversity globally. B. salamandrivorans (Bsal) is a newly-described pathogen discovered infecting salamanders in Europe and devastating local populations (the translation of its species name is "devourer of salamanders"). Bd is commonly detected in Wisconsin and its overall impacts are variable. I will summarize the current state of Bd knowledge, including longitudinal population monitoring of Bd and eastern newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) in southern Wisconsin. Bsal is not likely present in North American wild amphibians. However, Bsal is a severe threat to biodiversity because of the uncertainty of its presence, the magnitude of consequence if introduced into North America, and its association with the global pet trade. We have performed surveillance for Bsal in Wisconsin as part of a nationwide USGS-led effort (no Bsal detections), and I will also present how the North American Bsal task force is taking action to address Bsal risk.
Bio: Daniel Grear is a wildlife disease ecologist with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI. Dan performs research into a variety of ecological and evolutionary drivers of wildlife disease emergence and transmission. Dan is the disease project lead for the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and co-Chair of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Disease Task Team.