RAvon created a hygiene protocol in order to limit and prevent the spread of infectious DISEASES and invasive species and RECOMMENDS everyone to adhere to this protocol.
By means of the natural migration of amphibians and (natural) flow of water pathogens like Bsal can spread. These natural processes are very hard to control by humans. The amount of infected material (like substrate, plants and so forth) we transport as humans is something we do have some control over. Humans can spread infected material over very long distances in comparison to amphibians during migration. Examples are field biologists or other fieldworkers that have mud clinging to their boots. In this respect humans can act as so called "vectors" and spread pathogens further and faster than they would normally do. By being aware of this we can takes measures to prevent it and also buy some time while both field- and laboratory trials are run in order to counter/mitigate the effects of Bsal.
You can find our hygiene protocol here.
Land- and water management
Managing large areas often require working with heavy equipment. For example: a tracked excavator that has been used to excavate a pond often has huge amounts of substrate sticking to it. Tracked excavators, lorries but also other pieces of equipment are often needed at another location very soon after a job is done at the first, often on the same day. Mud and other possibly infected substrate can unintentionally be introduced to another area. Therefor it is very important prior to driving to another location to first clean (hose down) the equipment. This is not only necessary when the equipment is moved from an "infected" to a "uninfected" site but should be a routine procedure. Ideally equipment is not only cleaned by clean, fresh water but also with a disinfectant like Virkons®S. If such a cleaning procedure is not possible the minimum effort should include removing as much substrate as possible with clean water. By doing so the amount of pathogens that can be transported is reduced.
YOU CAN FIND OUR HYGIENE PROTOCOL FOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT HERE.
When organizing excursions or doing fieldwork in wetland areas and other areas with a lots of water extra precaution should be taken. Not only excursions and fieldwork targeted at amphibians but also water plants, dragon- and damselflies, fishes, macrofauna and water quality assessments for example hygiene protocols need to be taken in consideration. Especially when multiple sites are visited in one day pathogenic fungi, viruses and other harmful organisms can be transferred to multiple sites via boots, buckets, dipping nets and containers. When in the field it is advised to bring a spray bottle with a solution of a disinfectant and disinfect field equipment and your boots between sites. Another option is to bring multiple sets of field equipment and strictly separate used and unused sets (you still need to disinfect your boots between sites). Afterwards all sets of field equipment need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Talk to each other about the dangers of not adhering to hygiene protocols. Together, we can help limit the spread of these dangerous pathogens.