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Publication - Dr Andrew Butterworth

    Risk of survival, establishment and spread of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in the EU


    More, S, Miranda, MA, Bicout, D, Bøtner, A, Butterworth, A, Calistri, P, Depner, K, Edwards, S, Garin‐Bastuji, B, Good, M, Michel, V, Raj, M, Nielsen, SS, Sihvonen, L, Spoolder, H, Stegeman, JA, Thulke, H, Velarde, A, Willeberg, P, Winckler, C, Baláž, V, Martel, A, Murray, K, Fabris, C, Munoz‐Gajardo, I, Gogin, A, Verdonck, F & Schmidt, CG, 2018, ‘Risk of survival, establishment and spread of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in the EU’. EFSA Journal, vol 16.


    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal
    pathogen of salamanders. Despite limited surveillance,
    Bsal was detected in kept salamanders populations in
    Belgium, Germany, Spain, the
    Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and in wild populations
    in some regions of Belgium,
    Germany and the Netherlands. According to niche modelling,
    at least part of the distribution
    range of every salamander species in Europe overlaps with
    the climate conditions predicted
    to be suitable for Bsal. Passive surveillance is considered
    the most suitable approach
    for detection of Bsal emergence in wild populations.
    Demonstration of Bsal absence
    is considered feasible only in closed populations of kept
    susceptible species. In
    the wild, Bsal can spread by both active (e.g. salamanders,
    anurans) and passive (e.g.
    birds, water) carriers; it is most likely maintained/spread
    in infected areas by contacts
    of salamanders or by interactions with anurans, whereas
    human activities most likely
    cause Bsal entry into new areas and populations. In kept
    amphibians, Bsal contamination
    via live silent carriers (wild birds and anurans) is
    considered extremely unlikely.
    The risk‐mitigation measures that were considered the most
    feasible and effective:
    (i) for ensuring safer international or intra‐EU trade of
    live salamanders, are: ban or restrictions on salamander imports,
    procedures and good practice manuals; (ii) for protecting
    kept salamanders from Bsal,
    are: identification and treatment of positive collections;
    (iii) for on‐site protection
    of wild salamanders, are: preventing translocation of wild
    amphibians and release/return
    to the wild of kept/temporarily housed wild salamanders, and
    setting up contact points/emergency
    teams for passive surveillance. Combining several
    risk‐mitigation measures improve
    the overall effectiveness. It is recommended to: introduce a
    harmonised protocol for
    Bsal detection throughout the EU; improve data acquisition
    on salamander abundance and distribution; enhance passive
    surveillance activities; increase public and professionals’
    awareness; condition any
    movement of captive salamanders on Bsal known health status.

    Full details in the University publications repository