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Amphibian mortality events and ranavirus outbreaks in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

March 1, 2016

Mortality events in wild amphibians go largely undocumented, and where events are detected, the numbers of dead amphibians observed are probably a small fraction of actual mortality (Green and Sherman 2001; Skerratt et al. 2007). Incidental observations from field surveys can, despite limitations, provide valuable information on the presence, host species, and spatial distribution of diseases. Here we summarize amphibian mortality events and diagnoses recorded from 2000 to 2014 in three management areas: Yellowstone National Park; Grand Teton National Park (including John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway); and the National Elk Refuge, which together span a large portion of protected areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE; Noss et al. 2002). Our combined amphibian monitoring projects (e.g., Gould et al. 2012) surveyed an average of 240 wetlands per year over the 15 years. Field crews recorded amphibian mortalities during visual encounter and dip-netting surveys and collected moribund and dead specimens for diagnostic examinations. Amphibian and fish research projects during these years contributed additional mortality observations, specimens, and diagnoses.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Amphibian mortality events and ranavirus outbreaks in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Authors Debra A. Patla, Sophia St-Hilaire, Andrew P. Rayburn, Blake R. Hossack, Charles R. Peterson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Herpetological Review
Index ID 70160299
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center