Help Stop The Spread of Frog Diseases

Chytrid Fungus and Ranavirus are two serious ailments that have caused huge die-offs in frog populations. These diseases can be spread from one infected site to another, or from sick animals.

People who camp, hike, or visit natural areas where frogs live can help stop the spread of these diseases by disinfecting. The following video outlines how to do this properly.

Watch here.  

The two most common ways of spreading chytrid to new sites may be the use of amphibians as fishing bait and the collection and release of frogs and tadpoles as pets (Obendorf 2005). Amphibians should not be used as bait or taken from the wild. If they are taken, they should not be released back into the wild.

For people who currently own captive amphibians, be sure to make sure pets are in secure, escape proof enclosures. This will help prevent exotic and possibly infected species from reaching non-native habitats. Never release unwanted pets/captives into the wild. Unwanted pets can be surrendered to rescues or exotic animal adoptions. For keepers who have species that are native to their region, these too should never be released after being in captivity, as the risk of spreading disease to new locales is a very serious risk.

Do not move, transport and release wild amphibians from one field site to another.

After providing care to any amphibians wash your hands with betadine germicide solution. Vigorously scrub hands for 20 seconds to ensure proper disinfecting. Make sure hands are completely (and well) rinsed before interacting with any other amphibians. Betadine is recommended due to its effectiveness.

Never throw old and discarded water, substrate, or anything else from enclosures out onto gardens or lawns. When cycling water from your newt tanks, make sure to dispose of this properly as to not degrade or contaminant the neighbouring environments. According to the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), before you dispose of any waste water that might have come in contact with your pet amphibians, be sure you add a little bleach before you dispose of it. The best evidence points towards a ratio of about 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Using this ratio should ensure any of the deadly chytrid is killed before leaving your home. Remember – bleach is highly toxic to amphibians, never let them come in to contact with bleach, only use it to disinfect waste water. Make sure any bleached equipment is thoroughly rinsed and dried before letting it come into contact with any live amphibian.

All newly acquired captive amphibians should be placed in quarantine initially. Again, note that cage water and soil substrates should also be regarded as contaminated and should not be dumped into the environment.

Cases of Ranavirus can be reported here.