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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Treat amphibians with chytridiomycosis in the wild or pre-release Amphibian Conservation

Key messages

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  • One before-and-after study in Mallorca found that treating wild midwife toads with fungicide, along with pond drying, reduced infection levels but did not eradicate chytridiomycosis.



Supporting evidence from individual studies


A before-and-after study in 2009–2010 in a pond in Mallorca (Lubick 2010) found that treating wild midwife toads Alytes muletensis with a fungicide, along with drying out the pond, reduced the prevalence but did not eradicate chytridiomycosis. All samples from tadpoles came back positive for the chytrid fungus the spring after treatment and pond drying. 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 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.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Smith, R.K., Meredith, H. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Amphibian Conservation. Pages 9-65 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.