pesticides and CA redlegged frog

fairy_toadmotherJuly 5, 2007

some intersting info and suggestions about pesticide the link. it is pdf and you will need to enlarge to read it.

also, this is copied from frogwatch newletter that goes to my email. probiotics and frogs...published in Herp Digest.

3) Probiotics Could Save Frogs - Bacterial Baths Help Amphibians FightOff Fungus. Helen Pearson,, 3/7/2007 The Mountain yellow-legged frog of California is plagued by fungalinfections.NHPA Planting bacteria on frogs' skin might help to save amphibians fromtheir global decline, hints new research. The work shows that frogprobiotics can help to fight off a lethal fungus. Many populations of amphibians are plummeting, and some have alreadygone extinct. One of the major causes is a fungus calledBatrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which lives on the skin of some frogsand salamanders. As in humans, amphibians host a community of bacteria on their skin. SoReid Harris at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia,wondered whether the community carried by amphibians susceptible to B.dendrobatidis had lost its ability to fight off the fungus. To test this idea, Harris and his colleagues isolated differentbacteria species from the skin of a common salamander. They put the eachof these species on top of some B. dendrobatidis growing in a Petri dishand found that several of them killed off a patch of the fungus1. Now they have shown that at least one of these bacterial species ùPedobacter cryoconitis ù can help amphibians to survive. The teamallowed red-backed salamanders to swim in a bath of this bacteria fortwo hours, and then infected them with the lethal fungus. When tested 18 days later, the salamanders given the bacterial bathwere nearly 30% more likely to have rid themselves of the fungalinfection than were the untreated animals. Harris speculates that thebacterium is probably making a natural antibiotic. He reported hisresults at a meeting on microbes and conservation at the American Museumof Natural History in New York on 26 April. Another bacterium, called Pseudomonas reactans, actually made thesalamanders more susceptible to the fungus, perhaps because it displacedregular, infection-fighting bacteria from the skin. Harris suggests that environmental stresses such as climate change orpollution might change an amphibian's community of skin bacteria. Thestressed animals might make less skin mucus, on which the bacteria feed,or they may make more stress hormones, which would encourage differentbacterial species. Exposing threatened amphibians to the fungus-fighting bacteria, perhapsby adding it to ponds or sites that they frequent, might help to reversesome of the population decline, Harris suggests. With few other optionsavailable, this strategy is worth pursuing, he says: "It's the onlything that's offered a glimmer of hope". "I think it's a very promising area that needs to be pursued," saysLouise Rollins-Smith, who studies amphibian immunology at VanderbiltUniversity in Nashville, Tennessee. "It's such an important conservationproblem. Any information on a mechanism that could protect them isvaluable." Because it is unclear how long the effect of the bacteria will last,the microbes might have to be introduced again and again. The idea is akin to the probiotic food and drinks that some peopleswallow to try and change the community of microbes living in theirguts. Some researchers are also toying with the idea of developingprobiotics for human skin. Probiotics have also been used in aquaculture- in fish food or simply in the water - to try and increase yields. Harris now plans to collaborate with colleagues in California to testwhether the probiotic protects the Mountain yellow-legged frog (Ranamuscosa), an endangered species that usually succumbs to the fungus. References 1. Harris R. N., James T. Y., Lauer A., Simon M. A. & PatelA. . EcoHealth, 3 . 53 - 56 (2006).

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Well I hope it works and they get to try it soon in an larger scale outdoor environment. Amphibians are on the the decline world-wide that is why it makes me sad when I see posts in this forum about too many tadpoles or the frogs are too noisy. We are so lucky to have this wildlife come to us and they are lucky they have those that build ponds.

I did not click the link but read the cut and paste - FTM - is the fungus a problem on the east coast populations of various amphibians too? CT

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 10:07AM
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i have no idea, ct. i am sure it is. i believe i read about south american or central american frogs succumbing to fungus, also. i just found one link regarding the same fungus in australia and queensland:

this link,
says that the fungus was first identified in australia.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 7:59PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Very sad. Dad gum human ignorance!

Only 1/3 of those handsome harlequin frogs left. If only the same small ratio of humans cared, so many beautiful animal species could be saved.

Well, right now I make a vow to add at least one more environmental safeguard to my list! I don't know what it is at the moment, but it won't be too hard to come up with. Who's with me?!

Oh, I just thought of it...I'm going to do more research on natural and organic cleaning agents and bug repellants. I recently bought one of those outdoor foggers for the horrible mosquitos here, but when I read the warnings, I couldn't use it b/c I thought of all the baby toads that are all around my garden and sitting area.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 12:50PM
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Since becoming a member here at GW, I've been greatly influenced by many CA members who garden without pesticides. When I first started gardening, I was a Round Up totin' mama. I also used to spray frequently to rid my yard of aphids and other no-gooders (to no avail, I might add), and I used to put out poison for gophers (shame on ME!). Now, I have weeds, but I also have more critters, good and bad. My garden seems to have balanced itself out, and just as many ponders advise for those with algae problems, patience is everything.

It would be nice if more people used common sense. For those born without it, there are plenty of us out here who would gladly offer up some of our own for free. :D I'm glad some folks offered it up to me!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:47AM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Ditto here, Brenda. I've changed a few of my bad gardening habits over the last decade. In my own lifetime (not that it's been THAT long, hee hee), I've witnessed some animal species extinction, horrible oil spill kills, a dwindling rain forest, plus hardly no more woods in my own area and pollution that has affected some of my own family members. The only thing I can do is my small part and complain when I can! ;)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I used Milky Spore Disease and I have almost zero Japanese Beetles on my property, so no pesticides needed.

Change to recycled toilet paper. There is one called 'Seventh Generation'. If your grocer does not carry it ask them to.

Plant a bird thicket with native fruit bearing plants and mix in 1/3 evergreen for cover.

Use a mulching mower and zero to little lawn products that are not organic. Gardens Alive sells organic products for the lawn and garden. They cost a bit more but consider it an investment in your planet.

Flourescent light bulbs in your house and outdoor fixtures.

Plant only plants that don't need coddling and use less water. Plant them well the first time and give them room so they are not sickly and naturally repel insects. Let insect, if they come, eat some of the plants. You will attract birds and amphibians if a well planted property that eat most, if not all, pests.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 8:21AM
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