Disease reservoirs threaten the recently rediscovered Podocarpus Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus podocarpus)

Jervis, P, Karlsdottir, B, Jehle, R ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0545-5664, Almeida-Reinoso, D, Almeida-Reinoso, F, Ron, S, Fisher, MC and Merino-Viteri, A 2020, 'Disease reservoirs threaten the recently rediscovered Podocarpus Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus podocarpus)' , Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, 14 (2) , pp. 157-164.

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Abstract

The Andes have experienced an unprecedented wave of amphibian declines and extinctions that are linked to a combination of habitat reduction and the spread of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In the present study, a range of high-altitude habitats in Southern Ecuador were surveyed for the presence of Bd. With a particular focus on Yacuri National Park, infection data are presented from across the resident amphibian community. This community contains a once putatively extinct species which was rediscovered in 2016, the Podocarpus Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus podocarpus). Across species, local Bd prevalence was 73% in tadpoles (n = 41 individuals from three species) and 14% in adults (n = 43 individuals from 14 species). Strikingly, 93% (14/15) of tested tadpoles of the recently described local endemic, Gastrotheca yacuri, were infected with a high pathogen load, suggesting that this species likely acts as a reservoir of infection in Yacuri. These findings show that the threat of disease for A. podocarpus still exists, and that this species requires urgent action to ensure its survival.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Amphibian & Reptile Conservation
Publisher: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Publisher
ISSN: 1083-446X
Related URLs:
Funders: Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, “Balsa de los Sapos” Amphibian Conservation Initiative of the Pontifcia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR)
Depositing User: R Jehle
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2020 12:50
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2020 08:00
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/57506

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