Projets 2012

The populations of the palmate newt and the Pyrenean brook salamander at Bassies – setting a baseline (UroBas 2012)

Porteur du projet : Dirk S. Schmeller - dirk.schmeller@EcoEx-Moulis.cnrs.fr

Structure de rattachement : Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale du CNRS à Moulis USR 2936

Web : www.ecoex-moulis.cnrs.fr


Amphibians are facing an extinction crisis that threatens up to 50% of all species; this represents the greatest potential loss of biodiversity of any vertebrate class since the mass extinction of the Cretaceous. Uniquely, an emerging infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is driving amphibian mass mortalities and species extinctions globally. Little is known about this newly-discovered pathogen, and effective conservation and management measures have not yet been developed. However, it is now clear that Bd infects populations and species widely across Europe. It is also clear that, in some regions, populations and possibly species are undergoing rapid catastrophic declines as a result of the infection, and that the infection has caused local extirpations. However, the extent that this invasive infectious disease is impacting on amphibian biodiversity across Europe is almost completely unrecognized, despite clear signs that there is a widespread and urgent problem.

Here, we propose to :

  1. set a baseline of amphibian population dynamics on high altitude in regions without Bd, focussing on Lissotriton helveticus and Calotriton asper
  2. investigate the movement of tourists etc. in the valley of Vicdessos by means of a questionnaire
  3. analyse the acceptance of conservation measures in the public. Generally, that data will complement data from the project RACE and will be fed also in modelling analyses, to receive a more general picture.