The first assessment of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian populations in the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area of Guyana

Mathie, Amber H. and Jarrett, Crinan and Jhaveri, Leo and Hoskisson, Paul A. and Roger Downie, J. (2018) The first assessment of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibian populations in the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area of Guyana. Herpetological Bulletin (146). pp. 18-24. ISSN 1473-0928

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    Abstract

    - Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a fungal pathogen threatening hundreds of amphibian species with extinction across the globe, especially in Latin America. Extensive investigations have revealed the presence of Bd in many South American countries, but there has been a lack of such research conducted in Guyana. We assessed the presence of Bd in the amphibian populations of the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area, in the south-west of the country. We swabbed two hundred and fifty anurans and processed the samples using standard Polymerase Chain Reaction analysis to identify cutaneous presence of Bd, making this the most comprehensive investigation into the existence of Bd in Guyana. All samples were negative for the presence of Bd DNA. Given the presence of Bd in countries neighbouring Guyana, and the severe declines it has caused in amphibian populations, we consider Guyana to be under severe threat. We advocate further surveillance in Guyana to fully determine the presence or absence of Bd, and we emphasise the importance of biosecurity and monitoring in mitigating a potential outbreak of this fungal pathogen.