April 2017 - article Nature: "Drivers of salamander extirpation mediated by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans"
An article published in the prestigious journal Nature (April 20th) paints a grim picture for European salamander species. After the introduction of an invasive chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans or Bsal) in Western Europe many salamander populations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have collapsed. Fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) are the most notable and vulnerable victims in Western Europe. The research group from Ghent University, led by Dr. An Martel and Dr. Frank Pasmans, describe this disease as “the perfect storm”. Its range is still expanding and many other European salamanders species are at risk. Especially several genera that are highly susceptible to the disease and species that occupy small ranges could suffer dramatic population declines or extinction should Bsal reach them.
The article (Stegen et al., 2017) can be found here. Ghent University and Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation the Netherlands also issued a news item on this new study. Matthew Fisher (Imperial College of London) wrote an informative article on this study.
The most important items of this study are: