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Old 03-28-2019, 11:43 PM
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Default Chydrid has hit the news

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is all over the news today:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...isease/585862/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/s...fungus-bd.html

https://earther.gizmodo.com/alarming...ast-1833642045

Here's the original journal article:

Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity | Science
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...imals-science/

Their proposed solution doesn't even address the very causes listed in the article, and furthermore, stopping legal trade will not achieve their aims. I wonder if they are dangling that out there as a scare tactic to push legal importers towards routine, strict quarantine and testing procedures.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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Their proposed solution doesn't even address the very causes listed in the article, and furthermore, stopping legal trade will not achieve their aims.
You mean that hampering US hobbyists from importing legally produced frogs from, say, Colombia won't help keep a Korean pathogen out of El Cope Panama? Huh.

Anyway, I'd be curious to be pointed to some literature that says something more intelligent about the issue. Could you provide some direction for someone who wants to read about real solutions? Maybe this is a tall order, but if you have any suggestions I'd enjoy hearing them.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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You mean that hampering US hobbyists from importing legally produced frogs from, say, Colombia won't help keep a Korean pathogen out of El Cope Panama?
Exactly.

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Anyway, I'd be curious to be pointed to some literature that says something more intelligent about the issue. Could you provide some direction for someone who wants to read about real solutions?
Agreed. Anytime stuff like this comes up I get a little uneasy with the impact a little hysteria can have on my hobby. Hysteria doesn't lead to rational solutions. It only leads to poorly thought out courses of action that have ripple effects far beyond merely addressing the issue.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

I'm sorry. I must have placed too much emphasis on brevity, and not enough on accurately conveying my thoughts. Doh!

They have tentatively concluded that the origin of its spread was from the unintentional (and unwitting) transport of amphibians through agriculture and military cargo.

Placing a complete ban on any legal, intentional transport of amphibians still won't address the very activities that they state were the initial cause- accidental hitchhikers. It also would not address the risks posed by smuggling.

If anything, legal transport allows for greater monitoring. For one thing, the type of people willing to invest in legal importation are, generally speaking, the people more likely to quarantine and test for Bd, and even other illnesses. That's data that can be collected and used to identify emerging hot spots, among other things.

I hope that helps.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

I think my sarcasm meter malfunctioned. I'm going to just go hide in a cave, now.
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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I think my sarcasm meter malfunctioned. I'm going to just go hide in a cave, now.
Just be sure to wipe your feet on your way out of your cave. We wouldn't want you spreading any subterranean fungi on your way out.

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Old 04-05-2019, 01:35 AM
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Talking Re: Chydrid has hit the news

HAA!

Good point. Wouldn't want to harm the bats.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

If you get a little deeper with the interviews, the people actually closest to the science aren't proposing stopping imports because they think it will have an impact on the current Bd situation - the horse is already out of the barn as we all realize. They propose banning imports because they fear accidentally spreading the NEXT virulent pathogen. It's still an argument on shaky ground as far as I'm concerned since there would remain so many other methods of spread in a globalized economy, but its at least genuine and worth considering.

I also think the dart frog hobby is a good example for how it can work well. Few of us have wild-caught frogs. It makes little sense practically and financially to keep WC with so many captive-bred animals available. So that leaves imports of WC (the starting point of pathogen spread) to bigger operations. They have a financial incentive to take strict QT practices and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing them have to jump through a few more regulatory hoops if that meant protecting ecosystems.

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Old 04-05-2019, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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So that leaves imports of WC (the starting point of pathogen spread) to bigger operations. They have a financial incentive to take strict QT practices and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing them have to jump through a few more regulatory hoops if that meant protecting ecosystems.
I agree and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing importers jump through a few more regulatory hoops. I'd even happily pay the resulting premium that would result from the incremental costs that are incurred as a result of additional QT procedures/tests/etc.

But I do reject the notion that importers are financially motivated to take stricter QT practices. I'd make the argument that 99% of them are not concerned with conservation efforts or take ethical issues (chytrid) into consideration when running their operation.
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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But I do reject the notion that importers are financially motivated to take stricter QT practices. I'd make the argument that 99% of them are not concerned with conservation efforts or take ethical issues (chytrid) into consideration when running their operation.
I'm probably lumping together some steps in the chain out of ignorance to the details. I was thinking of organizations who breed/sell for profit. They can't maintain a profitable breeding program if chytrid is wiping out their stock or word gets out they're selling sick animals. But you're probably right that "middle men" in the import chain who just buy and flip wouldn't have any financial motivation to act ethically.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

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Originally Posted by dmb5245 View Post
It makes little sense practically and financially to keep WC with so many captive-bred animals available. So that leaves imports of WC (the starting point of pathogen spread) to bigger operations. They have a financial incentive to take strict QT practices and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing them have to jump through a few more regulatory hoops if that meant protecting ecosystems.

Dave
There has been a lot of discussion here in the past (in the thread 'Illegal Frogs', IIRC), that unless the cost of producing CB frogs falls under the cost of paying a mule to haul a suitcase full of WC that are purchased from locals at pennies a frog, smuggling will continue.

Likewise, if regulatory hoops increase the cost of legally WC frogs, then illegally imported frogs will continue to enter the hobby.

This part:
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bigger operations. They have a financial incentive to take strict QT practices
is contradicted in practice by certain larger herp vendors who continue, in full view of everyone, for many years, to sell imports in pretty poor health.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Chydrid has hit the news

Chytrid are ubiquitous. A mycologist colleague recently schooled me on them. She was very passionate about them. The VAST majority are saprophytes (decomposers) and they break down chitin- this is a very important ecological function. Fungi are weird and decomposers can become parasites and vice versa. This is the problem with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: it mutated. A simple decomposer became a pathogen that really likes the chitin in amphibian lips and skin. It spread across the world, not due to the hobby frog trade, but because of Korean exports of culinary amphibians. The mutation began in Korea and is genetically traceable to a general locale.
The danger, as some have noted: is TO your captive frogs, FROM the environment -anywhere really. it's everywhere now and any stopping imports will not stop it. it did not originate in South/Central America, so if they have it it will not be unique to them or any delivery point.
I just Google'd Chytrid to make sure my ramblings were founded in fact (somewhat) and the first several pages were all referencing B. dendrobatidis, leaving hundreds of species obscured by the 'click' habits of the web-o-sphere. You even have to go deeper before you see the reports of populations bouncing back from it. After the devastation comes adaptation - tis the way of nature. So don't fret about potential export bans, fret that if you don't practice a little biosecurity your frogs could go down from the Chytrid that's already in your yard. The hobby is well stocked and there are a lot of conscientious hobbyists. Chytrid is Ubiquitous and Pandora opened that box long before we knew there was a box..
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