Threat abatement project (ID 1011-1151)
About the report
Amphibians have declined globally. In the first global amphibian assessment, at least 43% of amphibian species with sufficient data were found to have declined in recent decades, 34 species have become extinct and a further 88 are possibly extinct (Stuart et al. 2004). In 2010, approximately 30% of amphibians were threatened globally (http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/summarystatistics/2010_4RL_Stats_Table_1.pdf).
Conventional causes of biodiversity loss, including habitat destruction and invasive species, are playing a role in these declines. However, emergent diseases are strongly implicated in many recent rapid declines and extinctions. These factors are now acting globally and, most disturbingly, in protected and near pristine areas. While habitat conservation and mitigation of threats in situ are essential, for many taxa the requirement for some sort of ex situ intervention is mounting.
In response to the global threat posed by emerging infectious diseases, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has listed both chytridiomycosis and ranavirus as "notifiable" diseases to help control their spread. Similarly, numerous conferences and reports have been assembled to produce standards in managing diseases in wild and captive amphibian populations. Together, these measures prompted the development of the Commonwealth-funded "Hygiene protocols for the control of diseases in Australian frogs",
While the hygiene protocols provide general information about strategies to minimise the transmission and spread of pathogens, particularly during field work activities, there remains a need to develop guidelines specific for captive breeding, raising and restocking programs for Australian frogs. This document fulfils this role.