Kris Murray, Richard Retallick, Keith R. McDonald, Diana Mendez, Ken Aplin, Peter Kirkpatrick, Lee Berger, David Hunter, Harry B. Hines, R. Campbell, Matthew Pauza, Michael Driessen, Richard Speare, Stephen J. Richards, Michael Mahony, Alastair Freeman, Andrea D. Phillott, Jean-Marc Hero, Kerry Kriger, Don Driscoll, Adam Felton, Robert Puschendorf, and Lee F. Skerratt. 2010. The distribution and host range of the pandemic disease chytridiomycosis in Australia, spanning surveys from 1956–2007. Ecology 91:1557.


Data Paper

Ecological Archives E091-108-D1.

Copyright


Authors
Data Files
Abstract
Metadata


Author(s)

(see last author listed for correspondence)

Kris Murray
The Ecology Centre, School of Biological Science
University of Queensland
St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia

Richard Retallick
GHD Pty Ltd, 8/180 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Keith R. McDonald
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 975, Atherton, Queensland 4883, Australia

Diana Mendez
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Ken Aplin
Australian National Wildlife Collection
CSIRO (Sustainable Ecosystems)
P.O. Box 284 Canberra City, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia

Peter Kirkpatrick
P.O. Box 7135
Geraldton, Western Australia 6531, Australia

Lee Berger
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

David Hunter
Biodiversity Conservation Section
South Branch NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change
P.O. Box 733 Queanbeyan 2620, New South Wales, Australia

Harry B. Hines
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 64, Bellbowrie, Queensland 4070, Australia

R. Campbell
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Matthew Pauza
Biodiversity Conservation Branch
Department of Primary Industries and Water
Hobart Tasmania 7001, Australia

Michael Driessen
Biodiversity Conservation Branch
Department of Primary Industries and Water
Hobart Tasmania 7001, Australia

Richard Speare
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Stephen J. Richards
Vertebrates Department
South Australian Museum
Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia

Michael Mahony
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
University of Newcastle
University Drive, Callaghan 2308, New South Wales, Australia

Alastair Freeman
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 975, Atherton, Queensland 4883, Australia

Andrea D. Phillott
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Jean-Marc Hero
Environmental Futures Centre
School of Environment
Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus
Queensland 4222, Australia

Kerry Kriger
Environmental Futures Centre
School of Environment
Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus
Queensland 4222, Australia

Don Driscoll
The Fenner School of Environment and Society
Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia

Adam Felton
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Robert Puschendorf
School of Marine and Tropical Biology and Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia

Lee F. Skerratt
Amphibian Disease Ecology Group
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia
E-mail: lee.skerratt@jcu.edu.au


Data Files

Chytridiomycosis_data_1956_2007.txt -- 10183 records, not including header row. File is ASCII text, comma delimited. No compression schemes were used.


Abstract

Chytridiomycosis is the worst disease to affect vertebrate biodiversity on record. In Australia, it is thought to have caused the extinction of four frog species, and it threatens the survival of at least 10 more. We report the current distribution and host range of this invasive disease in Australia, which is essential knowledge for conservation management. We envisage that the data be used in a global and national context for predictive modeling, meta-analyses, and risk assessment. Our continent-wide data set comprises 821 sites in Australia and includes 10183 records from more than 80 contributors spanning collection dates from 1956 to 2007. Sick and dead frogs from the field and apparently healthy frogs from museum collections were tested opportunistically for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungal pathogen causing chytridiomycosis, and apparently healthy frogs and tadpoles found during surveys were tested purposively. The diagnostic tests used were histology of skin samples and quantitative PCR of skin swabs. Chytridiomycosis was found in all Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory, but not in the Northern Territory. It appears to be currently confined to the relatively cool and wet areas of Australia, such as along the Great Dividing Range and adjacent coastal areas in the eastern mainland states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, eastern and central Tasmania, southern South Australia, and southwestern Western Australia. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis may have been introduced into Australia via the port of Brisbane around 1978 and spread northward and southward. It did not appear to arrive in Western Australia until 1985. The earliest records from South Australia and Tasmania are from 1995 and 2004, respectively, although archival studies from these states are lacking. We also report negative findings showing that the disease does not currently occur in some areas that appear to be environmentally suitable, including Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and most of the World Heritage Area in western Tasmania. Infection with B. dendrobatidis has been recorded from 63 frog species in Australia to date, all belonging to the Hylidae, Limnodynastidae, and Myobatrachidae, with the exception of one individual of a species from the Microhylidae and the introduced cane toad of the family Bufonidae.

Key words: amphibian chytrid fungus; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; chytridiomycosis; conservation; distribution; extinction; frog; infectious disease; mapping; risk assessment.


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