The Decline of the Sharp-Snouted Day Frog (Taudactylus acutirostris): The First Documented Case of Extinction by Infection in a Free-Ranging Wildlife Species?

  title={The Decline of the Sharp-Snouted Day Frog (Taudactylus acutirostris): The First Documented Case of Extinction by Infection in a Free-Ranging Wildlife Species?},
  author={Lisa M. Schloegel and Jean-Marc Hero and Lee R. Berger and Richard Speare and Keith R Mcdonald and Peter Daszak},
Infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as the cause of mass mortality events, population declines, and the local extirpation of wildlife species. In a number of cases, it has been hypothesized that pathogens have caused species extinctions in wildlife. However, there is only one definitively proven case of extinction by infection, and this was in a remnant captive population of a Polynesian tree snail. In this article, we review the potential involvement of infectious disease in the… 

driven extinction in the wild of the

  • Environmental Science
  • 2020
The Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis, became extinct in the wild despite population monitoring and conservation management of its habitat in the Kihansi gorge, Tanzania. Previous

Epidemiology of chytridiomycosis in rainforest stream tadpoles

The relationships between infection intensity, prevalence, tooth loss and body condition indicate that these tadpoles have a measure of tolerance or increased resistance, which may be a result of strong selection pressure exerted by chytridiomycosis, which is critical to properly understand and mitigate species declines and prevent extinction.

Disease driven extinction in the wild of the Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis

It is demonstrated how demographic and behavioural attributes predisposed the spray toads to chytridiomycosis, as a result of B. dendrobatidis infections, and how epidemic disease could have been exacerbated by altered environmental conditions in the spray wetlands.

Disease driven extinction in the wild of the Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis)

It is demonstrated how demographic and behavioral attributes predisposed the spray toads to chytridiomycosis, due to B. dendrobatidis infection, and how epidemic disease could have been exacerbated by altered environmental conditions in the spray wetlands.

Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in threatened corroboree frog populations in the Australian Alps.

The results suggest that the initial and continued decline of the corroboree frogs may well be attributed to the emergence of B. dendrobatidis in populations of these species.

Amphibian declines: promising directions in understanding the role of disease

Disease caused by the amphibian chytridiomycosis is a lethal emerging infectious disease that has had profound effects in some amphibian species, but occurs without catastrophic effects in others and is likely to impact human activities via effects on the pet, bait and food trade.

Mammalian faunal collapse in Western Australia, 1875-1925: the hypothesised role of epizootic disease and a conceptual model of its origin, introduction, transmission, and spread

The evidence available is suggestive of a first wave of mammal declines and extinctions in Western Australia commencing about 1875, and from this single, contingent historical event it is postulated that 33 species changed significantly in distribution and abundance.

Hotspots, Conservation, and Diseases: Madagascar’s Megadiverse Amphibians and the Potential Impact of Chytridiomycosis

Effective responses to this potential threat might include an increased attention to ‘biosecurity’, including the consequent implementation of measures to avoid the introduction of the chytrid fungus.

Amphibian chytridiomycosis: strategies for captive management and conservation

Zoological institutions can play a key role in preventing pathogen spread between captive facilities, and in disease surveillance, captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes, to limit the impact of this formidable disease on wild amphibian populations.

Altitudinal distribution of chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) infection in subtropical Australian frogs

Examining the altitudinal distribution of chytrid infections in stream-dwelling frog species in southeast Queensland, Australia, found no consistent evidence that high-altitude frogs were more likely to be infected than were lowland frogs, and evidence that montane amphibian populations remain susceptible to disease outbreaks for longer periods than do lowland populations.



Extinction of a Species of Land Snail Due to Infection with a Microsporidian Parasite

Pathologic investigations of the last individuals of a species that had undergone a crash showed infection with a protozoan parasite as the cause of death, believed to be the first definitive report of an infectious disease causing the extinction of aspecies.

Evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Infection in Water Frogs of the Rana esculenta Complex in Central Italy

Histological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular analyses demonstrated for the first time the presence of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in this complex of water frogs of the Rana esculenta complex in agricultural areas of Umbria, central Italy.

Epidemic Disease and the Catastrophic Decline of Australian Rain Forest Frogs

In the montane rain forests of eastern Australia at least 14 species of endemic, stream-dwelling frogs have disappeared or declined sharply (by more than 90%) during the past 15 years. We review

Disease and Endangered Species: The Black‐footed Ferret as a Recent Example

This recent example of the catastrophic effect of epizootic disease in an endangered species is described in an historical context and examples are given of disease further endangering other rare species, including Mauritius pink pigeon, Père David's deer, cranes, maned wolves, native Hawaiian birak, cheetahs, and others.

From 61 species to five: endemic tree snails of the Society Islands fall prey to an ill-judged biological control programme

It now seems that the remnant populations of Samoana attenuata discovered only 5 years ago are the only species of partulid still surviving beyond Tahiti on the Society Island group, and Partulidae are clearly a highly threatened family of invertebrates, and in need of the most intense conservation focus.

Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs

Comparisons of present and past occurrences suggest that populations of six frog species endemic to the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland have declined during the past ten years, and management strategies must involve protection of the riparian habitats in which they occur.


Avian malaria probably did not reach epizootic proportions on Hawaii until after 1920, but since that time it has had a negative impact on the population dynamics of the native forest birds and is today a major limiting factor, restricting both abundance and distribution of these species on the island.

Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America.

  • L. BergerR. Speare H. Parkes
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1998
Experimental data support the conclusion that cutaneous chytridiomycosis is a fatal disease of anurans, and it is hypothesize that it is the proximate cause of these recent amphibian declines.

Rainforest frogs of the Australian Wet Tropics: guild classification and the ecological similarity of declining species

  • S. WilliamsJ. Hero
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1998
Multivariate analyses of the ecological characteristics of frog species show that it is not a single characteristic that isolates those species that have declined from those which have not, and this has important implications for the determination of the causal factors in the unexplained global decline of many amphibian species.