The devourer of newts: a novel chytrid fungus on Britain’s doorstep

9 Dec 2014 18:00 - 19:45

Population declines are reported in over 30 per cent of amphibian species worldwide. Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is increasingly recognised as a significant driver of species extinctions. The emergence in 2013 of Batrachochytrium
salamandrivorans (Bs) in the Netherlands and Belgium presents a new threat to European amphibians, and a challenge for scientists, conservationists and
governmental animal health and environment agencies. The Bs fungus was found to be the causative agent of a cutaneous ulcerative disease of fire salamanders a high mortality rate at two sites in the Low Countries. There is no evidence that Bs is present in the UK but studies show that the great crested newt is highly susceptible to this pathogen. We will discuss the discovery of Bs, the likely impact of its arrival in the UK and the government’s response, including wildlife disease-surveillance schemes to detect incursion of novel pathogens and the emergency preparedness plan for an outbreak in Britain.

 

Speakers will be confirmed and announced soon, please check back for further details.

This Science and Conservation event is free; seating is allocated on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.

For all enquiries, please contact the Scientific Events Coordinator at scientific.events@zsl.org, or call 0207 4496227.