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Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation

Hudson, MA; Young, RP; D'Urban Jackson, J; Orozco-terWengel, P; Martin, L; James, A; Sulton, M; ... Cunningham, AA; + view all (2016) Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 30772. 10.1038/srep30772. Green open access

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Abstract

Amphibian chytridiomycosis has caused precipitous declines in hundreds of species worldwide. By tracking mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax) populations before, during and after the emergence of chytridiomycosis, we quantified the real-time species level impacts of this disease. We report a range-wide species decline amongst the fastest ever recorded, with a loss of over 85% of the population in fewer than 18 months on Dominica and near extinction on Montserrat. Genetic diversity declined in the wild, but emergency measures to establish a captive assurance population captured a representative sample of genetic diversity from Montserrat. If the Convention on Biological Diversity’s targets are to be met, it is important to evaluate the reasons why they appear consistently unattainable. The emergence of chytridiomycosis in the mountain chicken was predictable, but the decline could not be prevented. There is an urgent need to build mitigation capacity where amphibians are at risk from chytridiomycosis.

Type: Article
Title: Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep30772
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep30772
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503648
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