We have teamed up with the Institute of Zoology to carry out valuable monitoring research into the potential spread of a disease that can wipe out entire amphibian populations.The Institute of Zoology (IoZ) forms part of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which runs London Zoo and Whipsnade, and undertakes important and world-renowned conservation research and action across the globe. The Ecology Consultancy are supporting IoZ with their monitoring of the potential spread of an amphibian disease known as ‘chytrid’, which is lethal to amphibians (but causes no harm to humans) and can quickly wipe out whole amphibian populations. As part of the monitoring, we are taking swabs of live, apparently healthy newts at strategic locations throughout England. The swabs are then sent to IoZ for analysis as an early warning system, in order to guarantee swift and targeted action should the presence of chytrid be confirmed. We are also sending swabs of any newts we encounter during the course of our surveys that show any signs of disease. There are two strains of the disease that IoZ are looking for:
- Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) which can affect newts and salamanders as well as frogs and toads.
- Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) which has so far only been found to affect newts and salamanders.