The impact of the amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on a Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea reintroduction program at the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia in the Hunter Region of NSW

Michelle P. Stockwell*, S. Clulow, J. Clulow, M. Mahony

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reintroduction programs are used widely in conservation to reduce a species' risk of extinction and amphibians are considered suitable candidates for such programs because of their behavioural simplicity and high reproductive output.The Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea is an endangered species that has been reintroduced into several areas within its natural range, but the outcome of these programs remain unknown.This paper presents the results from the first release of the bell frog in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. This reintroduction released 850 tadpoles into a closed system of three ponds and rehabilitated habitat.Tadpole survival was high but following metamorphosis a decline in numbers began that continued for 13 months and resulted in the disappearance of all released bell frogs.The cause of this decline was investigated and eventually attributed to infection by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.These results emphasize the importance of including regular chytrid testing in the monitoring of both natural populations and reintroduction programs, particularly as few sick and dead animals were found to indicate its presence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Zoologist
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Litoria aurea
  • green and golden bell frog
  • reintroduction
  • translocation
  • amphibian chytrid fungus
  • Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
  • chytridiomycosis

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