During spring 2011, several CARG members were busy obtaining swab samples from amphibians to send off for Chytridiomycosis testing as part of the 2011 National Chytrid Survey. A total of 142 animals were swabbed among five sites, including common toad, palmate newt, smooth newt and great crested newt. More information on the swabbing surveys at Balgray Reservoir (Barrhead) and the Elderslie cycle path ponds can be found in earlier posts (below).
The provisional local results are now all in - and it seems like good news with no animals testing positive for the Chytid fungus which causes the disease. The samples for one toad and two palmate newts have been inconclusive though, and these will require a repeat test. However, it is thought by Freya Smith Project Organiser that these are more likely to be an artefact of the testing procedure rather than positive results for Chytrid. We will let you know if the re-testing changes anything.
For more information on the Chytrid amphibian disease can be found on the ZSL website here.
Emma Downie, CARG Secretary