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Fungal pathogen of amphibians studied

Research Achievements

Fungal pathogen of amphibians studied

Trainee Jonah Piovia-Scott studied the biology and management of a fungal pathogen of amphibians. Working in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Game, the US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he has shown that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has caused declines and extinctions of amphibians around the world, is widespread in the mountains of northern California. He found Bd infections on several different amphibian species, including the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae), which has experienced significant declines in the southernmost part of its range. Using extensive surveys across a broad geographic area and intensive studies of focal R. cascadae populations, Piovia-Scott and his colleagues established that Bd disproportionately affects frogs during their first year after metamorphosis. This result which will help focus management efforts aimed at restoring at-risk populations.