Chytridiomycosis has become one of the biggest threats to global biodiversity. Understanding more about how the disease dynamic changes depending on the response of different amphibian species is vital in fighting against it, and Peñalara offers ideal conditions for these studies. Therefore, we have begun a project with a new approach towards finding this information, in which we will work with diverse investigators from the United Kingdom.
The last number of the Asociación Herpetológica Española (AHE) - Spanish Herpetological Association-bulletin deals in a monographic way about the amphibians’ and retiles’ species introduced in Spain. In this number we tell you about the alpine newt history in Sierra de Guadarrama. Another example of an interesting specie that was introduced irresponsibly outside its natural range and that could unchain incalculable damages in the unique Peñalara’s ecosystem.
In the face of the Zika virus epidemic, the sales of amphibians as pets have skyrocketed in an apparent attempt to destroy the mosquitos that carry the sickness. However, far from being a good idea, this actually has huge risks for biodiversity.
In our paper, recently published in Diseases of Aquatic Organisms magazine, we explained the amplifying role that chitridiomycosis has in midwife toads in Peñalara and how the different amphibian’s species response to the pathogenic in different ways affecting the disease dynamic. Understanding these processes is essential to design mitigation activities, that is our final goal.
An official recommendation from the Bern Convention urges member countries to prevent the spread of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, a new amphibian fungal pathogen that has caused declines of 96% in salamander populations in the Netherlands. Restrictions in the pet trade and improvements in surveillance are considered necessary.