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Pet Industry Responds to Amphibian Crisis and Proposed Trade Restrictions

Pine Barrens Tree FrogIn terms of the number of species and countries affected, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (“Chytrid fungus” or Bd, for short) is the most devastating wildlife disease ever identified.  It is currently sweeping through frog and salamander populations worldwide, and is responsible for the decline or extinction of at least 250 species!

Your Comments Needed

Concerns that the transportation of live frogs, salamanders and frog legs is aiding the spread of both Bd and another deadly disease, Ranavirus (please see the article below), prompted the US federal government to propose new regulations that could limit the trade in most amphibians.

Notice of these regulations is now posted in the Federal Register.  Interested persons and organizations, both professional and amateur, are invited to comment.  Commenting is easy…simply click here and you will be taken to a form that can be used to register your opinions.

The comment period closes on Thursday, December 16, 2010.

The Pet Industry Weighs-In

Edible FrogThe Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) has responded to the crisis by establishing the “Keep Your ‘Phibs Bd-Free Campaign”.  The campaign is an intensive effort to promote awareness of the problem, disseminate captive care information and provide alternatives to the release of unwanted pets (a possible source of new Bd infections).  You can learn how to become involved here.

PIJAC representatives also attended a major conference on the subject, and are now involved in cooperative programs with over 200 zoos, aquariums, private amphibian keepers, government agencies and universities.  You can read more about theses efforts here.

Bd and its fallout is the most important issue facing amphibians and those who care about their future.  Please, make no mistake, this is a full-blown crisis.  Please consider reading the following articles and becoming involved…I’ll be happy to assist in any way possible. 

Further Reading

US Government Seeks Comments on Amphibian Trade Restrictions

Disease and Amphibians in the Fish Bait Trade

Successful Bd Treatments

Amphibian Ark Bd Update on the federal proposal
Edible Frog in Estonia image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Elina Annusver

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.

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