Remove the chytrid fungus from ponds

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One before-and-after study in Mallorca found that pond drying and fungicidal treatment of resident midwife toads reduced levels of infection but did not eradicate chytridiomycosis.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A before-and-after study in 2009–2010 of a pond in Mallorca (Lubick 2010) found that drying out the pond and treating resident Mallorcan midwife toads Alytes muletensis with a fungicide reduced the prevalence but did not eradicate chytridiomycosis. All samples from tadpoles came back positive for the chytrid fungus the spring after pond drying and treatment. However, the number of spores detected on each swab was lower than the previous year, suggesting a lower level of infection. Healthy-looking toads were seen breeding in the pond following pond drying and treatment. Over 2,000 toad tadpoles were removed from the pond in March–August 2009. The pond was emptied and left to dry over the summer. Tadpoles were taken to a laboratory and given daily five minute baths in the fungicide itraconazole for one week. They were held in captivity for up to seven months. Once the pond refilled in autumn, tadpoles were released. The following spring tadpoles were swabbed to test for chytridiomycosis.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Smith, R.K., Meredith, H. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Amphibian Conservation. Pages 9-64 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Amphibian Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Amphibian Conservation
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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