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Updated: Jan 10

Divergent population responses following salamander mass mortalities and declines driven by the emerging pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.

A new paper by WHG led by PhD researcher Jesse Erens was published on the cover of Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In this paper, we found that fire salamanders are still surviving up to 10 years after a deadly chytrid fungus (Bsal) started causing near-extinctions in The Netherlands and Belgium. Although this might be reason for cautious optimism, we also see that populations are only surviving in very low numbers, which leaves them vulnerable to any other environmental threats that might be coming their way. Not to mention, one of the populations in the south of the Netherlands (and that Jesse grew up with during his teenage years) went completely extinct. Bsal may furthermore have variable impacts on a demographic, ecological and genetic level, which raises a lot more questions to be addressed in future research.

Link to the article: Special thanks to Wouter Beukema for the great picture!

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