Preparation of a Disease Strategy Manual for amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (ID: 1112-0105)

James Cook University, 2012

About the manual

This strategy sets out the disease control principles for use in an emergency incident caused by Chytridiomycosis/Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Australia. Chytridiomycosis was introduced into Australia at least by 1978 and is thought to have caused amphibian declines and extinctions in 1979. A disease investigation began in 1993 and the novel disease chytridiomycosis was found to be the cause of widespread amphibian declines and extinctions. Now the disease is widespread throughout most of its preferred range and there are only a few uninfected populations where chytridiomycosis may have an impact on conservation.

The trigger for implementing this disease strategy should be uninfected amphibian populations predicted to be at risk of decline from chytridiomycosis. Protocols for surveying populations and predictive tools for risk of decline are available and have been used to inform use of this disease strategy in some regions.

In addition, there are several species that have undergone dramatic decline due to chytridiomycosis and survive as a small remnant population of less than a 1000 individuals that have not had an emergency response such as the armoured mist frog, Litoria lorica. These species could benefit from undertaking components of this strategy.

Chytridiomycosis/Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is listed as a notifiable disease in Australia's National List of Reportable Diseases of Aquatic Animals and by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE, formerly Office International des Epizooties) in the Aquatic Animal Health Code. The format of this manual was adapted from similar manuals. The format and content have been kept as similar as possible to these documents, in order to enable animal health professionals trained in emergency animal disease procedures to work efficiently with this document in the event of an emergency.