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Alien Organisms and trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

The pathogenic fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans and risk of negative impact on biodiversity

Report no:

Ordered: 05.12.2018

Publishing: 15.05.2019

Key message:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) will assess the risk of negative impact on biodiversity in Norway stemming from establishment and spread of the pathogenic fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. These cause Chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

The Norwegian Environmental Agency requested the assessment.

Mandate

VKM will describe the status of these fungi, and of the infectious disease Chytridiomycosis in Norway and other relevant countries.

VKM are to assess what consequences the establishment and spread of the fungi, and possible outbreaks of the disease might have on biodiversity in Norway, as well as the likelihood of these events.

VKM will also summarize the effect of various mitigation measures used to reduce spread and disease outbreaks.

Fungi infecting amphibians

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a fungus that can result in the infectious disease Chytridiomycosis. The spread of Bd has led to a dramatic decline in amphibian populations all over the world, and is regarded as one of the major causes of amphibian extinction. Frogs are the main host for B. dendrobatidis.

Bd was first reported in Norway in the summer of 2017. It has only been detected in five out of 34 investigated ponds, all restricted to the East side of the Oslo fjord. It can however not be ruled out that some of the other ponds are also infected.

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) resembles B. dendrobatidis, but its main hosts are salamanders and newts. This species has not yet been found in Norway, but has been found in Swedish pet shops.

The project group

The following people constitute the project group:

  • Anders Nielsen,PDF VKM member of the Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Chair of the project group.
  • Bjørnar Ytrehus,PDF VKM member of the Panel on Microbial ecology.
  • Kyrre Kausrud,PDF VKM member of the Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
  • Annette Taugbøl,PDF external expert, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).
  • Dag DolmenPDF, external expert, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
  • Jacob HöglundPDF, external expert, University of Uppsala (UU).
  • Trude VrålstadPDF, external expert, The Norwegian Veterinary Institute (VI).
  • Martin Malmstrøm, VKM-sekretariatet, prosjektleder.

The Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of the Norwegain Scientific Committee for Food and Environment is responsible for the evaluation of the project. The final report will be published on May 15th, 2019.

Contact

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

 

P.O. box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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