First record of amphibian mortality associated with the fungus <em>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis</em> in Catalonia (NE Spain)

  • Albert Martinez-Silvestre Catalonian Reptile and Amphibian Rehabilitation Center CRARC http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3382-6784
  • Roser Velarde
  • Rachel E. Marschang
  • Iago Pérez-Novo
  • Josep Francesc Bisbal-Chinesta
  • Barbora Thumsova
  • Jaime Bosch
Keywords: Chytridiomycosis, Discoglossus pictus, Rana temporaria, Pelophylax perezi, Catalonia, outbreak

Abstract

We report the first cases of mortality in anurans associated with the presence of the fungus Batrachochytrium
dendrobatidis at four different localities from Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula, Spain).
All cases were confirmed by both molecular techniques and histology. The infected individuals
were two Mediterranean painted frogs (Discoglossus pictus) from Girona province found in 2018
and 2020, one Iberian waterfrog (Pelophylax perezi) from Tarragona province found in 2018, and
one European common frog (Rana temporaria) from Barcelona province found in 2019. This is the
first time that mortality associated with this pathogen has been confirmed in D. pictus and P. perezi.
The role of the fungus as an agent possibly leading to death, in association with other external environmental
factors, is discussed. These findings could suggest a recent increase of the incidence of
this disease in the region. Some of these cases are particularly worrying because of their occurrence
close to sites where some endemic amphibian species with extremely reduced distributions inhabit.

Author Biography

Albert Martinez-Silvestre, Catalonian Reptile and Amphibian Rehabilitation Center CRARC

DVM, MSc, PhD, Dipl ECZM(Herpetology), ACred AVEPA (Exotic Animals), CRARC's Scientific Director

Published
2021-10-11
Section
Research Papers