Under the lead of Gent University / BE, the European Commission has granted EUR 900,000
for 36 months for the project "Mitigating a new infectious disease in salamanders to counteract
a loss of European biodiversity" (No 07.027731/2017/750768/SER/ENV.D.3.). Apart from
Trier University / GER, the following institutions from six countries are partners: Stichting Reptielen Amfibieën Vissen Onderzoek Nederland (RAVON) / NL; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.) / F; Universita degli Studi di Genova (UNIGE) / I;
Zoological Society of London / UK; Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Cientifica (CSIC) / ES; NATAGORA / BE.
The goal of this international research project is to collect data at the large scale to better understand the epidemiology of the dangerous salamander fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) – and to eventually stem the expected tide of amphibian population declines and prevent mass extinctions. A webpage informs about the project.
The part of Trier University is to provide information on the presence/absence of Bsal in Germany. For this purpose, we sample fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) at 50 localities all over Germany. We swab up to 30 live individuals per site and subsequently use quantitative real time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to test for Bsal infections. Like all partners in this project we use the same standard protocols.
In addition, we run a Bsal hotline (+49 - 651 - 201 4174) for emergency contact in case of observed salamander declines.