Latest news
  • April 2017: RAVON created a hygiene protocol for field workers. This protocol has been updated and can be found here. In addition RAVON created a protocol on disinfecting heavy equipment which can be found here. At the moment both protocols are only available in Dutch. An excellent English protocol can be found here. More information on field hygiene can be found on our page dedicated to hygiene. 
  • March, 2017: A research team from Belgium (Ghent University) and Vietnam (Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) published the results of the first large scale Bsal screening in Vietnam in the journal Scientific Reports. Almost 600 individuals of eight salamandrid species were tested for Bsal and Bd presence. Specific habitat traits, like water temperature, were also measured. Bsal was widespread in contrast to Bd. Overal prevalence in both chytrid species was low and all tested individuals did not show signs of clinical illness or reduces fitness. Bsal was found at higher temperatures that previously know which suggest a broader thermal niche. This study suggests low level pathogen endemism and co-existence with Bd in Vietnamese salamandrids. In addition this region may acts as a disease reservoir. The entire paper can be accessed here.
  • February 2017, Belgium: Currently several branches of the Belgian Government that are responsible for nature conservation are conducting a public inquiry for a National Bsal Action Plan. Comments on the plan can be made until 16 February 2017 via this website. The conceptual plan can be downloaded here.e.
  • November 2016: A German Research team published in the journal Plos One a new study on the possible future spread of Bsal in Western Europe. The models used in this study were based on ecological- and climate data and predicted areas suitable for Bsal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and France. The paper can be found here: Feldmeier et al., 2016.  
  • October 2016, France: The French Herpetological Society (FHS) initiated in response of the imminent threat Bsal poses to French salamanders and newts a citizen science based program in order to detect sick and dead salamanders (due to Bsal) as soon as possible. This program started as a response to the detection of Bsal in Belgium near the French border. Permits to collect (dead-) salamanders can be obtained via regional FHS coordinator José Godin. Please visit this link to read more on the program.   
  • April 2016, Belgium: Unfortunately a new case of Bsal has been reported from Wallonia (Belgium) in a population of Fire salamanders. This constitutes the fourth case of Bsal in Wallonia and the fifth case in Belgium. This new case is close to the French border and approximately 70 km south of previous outbreaks in Belgium. AmphibiaWeb and partners (including RAVON and Ghent University) made an informative video about this new case and a crowdfunding campaign targeted at disease surveillance in Wallonia. 
  • March 2016: Together with other amphibian researchers, RAVON published an update for the current distribution of the fungus Bsal. The paper was published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Not only is Bsal present in populations of wild newts and salamanders in the Netherlands and Belgium but also in Germany. Up till it has been discovered in three host species.
  • February 2016: Joint letter from conservationists and researchers to the EU with a call for funds for monitoring, research and short-term plans. Also an import ban on Asian salamanders species should be considered. 
  • January 2016: The US Fish and Wildlife Service (UFWS) took action by imposing a temporary moratorium on the importation of 201 species of salamanders which are seen as ‘injurious’ to North American salamanders. It is hoped that this ban will help prevent the introduction of Bsal to the US. More information, a FAQ and permit applications can be found here
  • January 2016: Deadly amphibian fungus (Bsal) in Europe could emerge in United States: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) identifies research needs & management actions in a new report released on January 21st 2016.
  • December 2015: The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention published the following document: Recommendation No. 176 (2015) on the prevention and control of the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) chytrid fungus [document T-PVS (2015) 9]

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