Draft threat abatement plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis

2014

Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease that affects amphibians worldwide. It is caused by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)  – a fungus capable of causing sporadic deaths in some amphibian populations and 100 per cent mortality in others.

The disease has been implicated in the mass die-offs and species extinctions of frogs since the 1990s. However, its origin and true impact on frog populations remains uncertain and continues to be investigated.

In Australia, the fungus has been directly implicated in the extinction of at least four species and the dramatic decline of at least ten others.

The four species listed as extinct are from Queensland and include the:

  • southern day frog (Taudactylus diurnus) – last seen in 1979
  • southern gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus silus) – last seen in 1981
  • northern gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus vitellinus) – last seen in 1985
  • sharp-snouted day frog (Taudactylus acutirostris) – last seen in 1997.

Many persisting species remain at lower abundance and smaller distributions than the levels recorded before the species were affected by chytridiomycosis. Some are continuing to decline and significant mortality from the disease is ongoing even decades after introduction.

Public consultation

The Minister for the Environment has released the draft ‘Threat abatement planfor infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis’ for three-month public consultation which closes on 21 August 2014.

About the threat abatement plan (TAP)

The draft plan provides a national strategy to guide the investment of funding and effort by the Australian Government, jurisdictions, research organisations and non-government organisations in managing the impacts of chytrid fungus on native species.

The objectives of the draft plan are to:

  1. improve understanding of the extent and impact of infection by amphibian chytrid fungus and reduce its spread to uninfected areas and populations
  2. identify and prioritise key threatened amphibian species, populations and geographical areas, and improve their level of protection by implementing coordinated, cost-effective on-ground management strategies
  3. facilitate collaborative applied research that can be used to inform and support improved management of amphibian chytrid fungus
  4. build scientific capacity and promote communication among stakeholders.

Guidelines for submissions

To provide a submission, please download the cover sheet and the comments sheet and fill in the details.
Important: A cover sheet must accompany all submissions

Where to send your submissions

Return BOTH the cover sheet and the comments sheet by email or post:

Email

invasivespecies@environment.gov.au

Post

Director
Environmental Biosecurity Section
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

For further information, or to request a hard copy of the document, please call 02 6274 1056.

Privacy

Your views are being sought by the Department of the Environment for the purpose of informing the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Minister for the Environment on the draft ‘Threat abatement plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis’.

Personal information that you provide will only be used for these purposes. Personal information may be disclosed to the members of the committee, or to employees of Australian Government agencies assisting the committee for the purposes outlined above. Contents of your submission may be included in subsequent publications.

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