Sunday, December 11, 2011

Notes from the Field: Dante in Chile, Nov 2011

  Lead veterinarian for the National Zoo of Chile in Santiago, Marcela Tirado, and amphibian biologist for the Atlanta Botanical Garden, DantĂ© Fenolio, prepare to process an incoming batch of live frogs going into quarantine.
Skin swabs are taken from newly collected frogs as they are entered into the quarantine process at the National Zoo of Chile.
Skin swabs are non-invasive and screen for a potentially lethal fungal pathogen, amphibian chytrid fungus.
This Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) is tolerating a brief skin swab.
Newly collected and incoming frogs pass through a quarantine process that lasts a little longer than a week.  They live in plastic boxes throughout the quarantine window.  Frog boxes are changed for sterile boxes and are given a daily soak in a solution that kills amphibian chytrid fungus.  The procedures performed ensure that frogs entering the captive breeding facility are free of amphibian chytrid fungus.