No detection of chytrid in first systematic screening of Bombina variegata pachypus (Anura: Bombinatoridae) in Liguria, northern Italy

Stefano Canessa, An Martel, Frank Pasmans


The Apennine Yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata pachypus, a small anuran endemic to peninsular Italy, has been declining throughout its range over the last 30 years. Although mortality by chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was first reported for the species in 2004, its role in the decline has not yet been assessed. Between 2011 and 2012 we sampled eight populations of B. v. pachypus in Liguria, northern Italy, swabbing 86 and 143 individuals respectively, corresponding to between 24 and 80% of the estimated individuals within each population. We did not detect chytrid in any the samples collected. For the three largest populations in the region, we can rule out infections of prevalence greater than 10% with at least 98% confidence. Research at a larger scale is urgently needed to clarify the role of B. dendrobatidis in the decline of this and other amphibians in Italy.

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