Advertisement

EcoHealth

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 299–302 | Cite as

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection in the Recently Rediscovered Atelopus mucubajiensis (Anura, Bufonidae), a Critically Endangered Frog from the Venezuelan Andes

  • Margarita Lampo
  • Cesar Barrio-Amorós
  • Barbara Han
Short Communication

Abstract

The harlequin frog, Atelopus mucubajiensis, is a critically endangered species that was believed to be extinct until 2004, when a single adult female was found in the Venezuelan Andes. Its disappearance after 1994 has been attributed to an increase in the prevalence of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in populations of these frogs. Using histology and Real-Time PCR assays, we tested this adult female positive for B. dendrobatidis. We report for the first time, to our knowledge, infection in a live specimen of A. mucubajiensis. The presence of this pathogen in remaining individuals poses a problem for the long-term persistence of this critically endangered species, as new epidemic episodes of chytridiomycosis could jeopardize the survival of remnant populations.

Keywords

Cloud Forest Frog Species Museum Specimen Avian Malaria Remnant Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Alford RA (1989) Competition between larval Rana palustris and Bufo americanus is not affected by variation in reproductive phenology. Copeia 1989:993–1000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson RM, May RM (1992) Infectious Diseases of Humans. Dynamics and Control, Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrio-Amorós CL (2004) Atelopus mucubajiensis still survives in the Andes of Venezuela. Froglog 66:2–3Google Scholar
  4. Barrio-Amorós CL (1998) Sistemática y biogeografía de los anfibios (Amphibia) de Venezuela. Acta Biologica Venezuelica 18:1–93Google Scholar
  5. Barrio CL (2001) Amphibian decline in Venezuela—the state of knowledge. Froglog 47:2–3Google Scholar
  6. Berger L, Speare R, Hyatt A (2000) Chytrid fungi and amphibian declines: overview, implications and future directions. In: Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs, Campbell A (editors), Canberra, Australia: Environmental Australia, pp 23–33Google Scholar
  7. Berger L, Speare R, Kent A (1999) Diagnosis of chytridiomycosis in amphibians by histologic examination. Zoos Print Journal 15:184–190Google Scholar
  8. Blaustein AR, Romansic JM, Scheessele EA, Han BA, Pessier AP, Longcore JE (2005) Interspecific variation in susceptibility of frog tadpoles to the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Conservation Biology 19:1460–1468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonaccorso E, Guayasamin JM, Méndez D, Speare R (2003) Chytridiomycosis as a possible cause of population declines in Atelopus cruciger (Anura: Bufonidae). Herpetological Review 34:331–334Google Scholar
  10. Boyle DG, Boyle DB, Olsen V, Morgan JAT, Hyatt AD (2004) Rapid quantitative detection of chytridiomycosis (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in amphibian samples using real-time Taqman PCR assay. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 60:141–148Google Scholar
  11. Díaz de Pascual A, Chacón-Ortiz A (2002) Diagnóstico de la colonización de la rana toro (Rana catesbeiana Shaw 1802: Ranidae:Amphibia) en el estado Mérida y medidas para su control. Informe de la Universidad de Los Andes, Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales y Fundación Bullfrog, pp 1–31Google Scholar
  12. Hanselmann R, Rodríguez A, Lampo M, Fajardo-Ramos L, Aguirre AA, Kilpatrick AM, et al. (2004) Presence of an emerging pathogen of amphibians in introduced bullfrogs Rana catesbeiana in Venezuela. Biological Conservation 120:115–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. La Marca E, Lips KR, Lötters S, Puschendorf R, Ibañez R, Ron S, et al. (2005) Catastrophic population declines and extinctions in neotropical harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus). Biotropica 37:190–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. La Marca E, Lötters S (1997) Monitoring of declines in Venezuelan Atelopus Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae). In: Herpetologia Bonnensis, Böhme W, Bischoff W, Ziegler T (editors), Bonn: Societas Europaea Herpetologica pp 207–213Google Scholar
  15. La Marca E, Reinthaler HP (1991) Population changes in Atelopus species of the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Herpetological Review 22:125–128Google Scholar
  16. Lampo M, Rodríguez A, La Marca E, Daszak P (in press) A chytridiomycosis outbreak and a severe dry season precede the disappearance of Atelopus species from the Venezuelan Andes. Herpetological Journal Google Scholar
  17. Lips KR (1998) Decline of tropical montane amphibian fauna. Conservation Biology 12:106–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lips KR (1999) Mass mortality and population declines of anurans at an upland site in Western Panama. Conservation Biology 13:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lips KR, Burrowes PA, Mendelson JR III, Parra-Olea G (2005) Amphibian population declines in Latin America: a synthesis. Biotropica 37:222–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lötters S (1996) The Neotropical Toad Genus Atelopus. Checklist, Biology, Distribution, Cologne, Germany: Verlags GbRGoogle Scholar
  21. Lötters S, La Marca E, Gagliardo R, Señaris JC, Veith M (2005) Harlequin frogs back? Some thoughts and speculations. Froglog 70:1–3Google Scholar
  22. McCallum H (2005) Inconclusiveness of chytridiomycosis as the agent in widespread frog declines. Conservation Biology 19:1421–1430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pounds JA, Bustamante MR, Coloma LA, Consuegra AJ, Fogden MPL, Foster PN, et al. (2006) Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming. Nature 439:161–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Puschendorf R (2003) Atelopus varius (Harlequin Frog) fungal infection. Herpetological Review 34:355Google Scholar
  25. Retallick R, McCallum H, Speare R (2004) Endemic infection of the amphibian chytrid fungus in a frog community post-decline. PLoS Biology 2:1965–1971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rivero JA (1972) On Atelopus oxyrhynchus BOULANGER (Amphibia, Salientia) with the description of a new race and related new species from the Venezuelan paramos. Boletin de la Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales 29:600–612Google Scholar
  27. Rodríguez JP, Rojas-Suárez F (1995) Libro Rojo de la Fauna Venezolana, Caracas, Venezuela: PROVITAGoogle Scholar
  28. Schloegel LM, Hero JM, Berger L, Speare R, McDonald KR, Daszak P (2006) The decline of the sharp-snouted day frog (Taudactylus acutirostris): the first documented case of extinction by infection in a free-ranging wildlife species? EcoHealth 3:35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Warner RE (1968) The role of introduced diseases in the extinction of the endemic Hawaiian avifauna. The Condor 70:101–120Google Scholar
  30. Wikelski M, Foufopoulos J, Vargas H, Snell H (2004) Galápagos birds and diseases: invasive pathogens as threats for island species. Ecology and Society 9:5Google Scholar
  31. Woodhams DC, Alford RA (2005) Ecology of chytridiomycosis in rainforests stream frog assemblages of tropical Queensland. Conservation Biology 19:1449–1459CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Ecohealth Journal Consortium 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarita Lampo
    • 1
  • Cesar Barrio-Amorós
    • 2
  • Barbara Han
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro de EcologíaInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones CientíficasCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Fundación AndígenAMérida, Apartado Postal 210, 5101-AVenezuela
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUnited states

Personalised recommendations