Time filter

Source Type

Ohmer M.E.,University of Otago | Herbert S.M.,University of Otago | Herbert S.M.,Tropical Health Solutions Pty Ltd | Speare R.,James Cook University | And 2 more authors.
Animal Conservation

The spread of chytridiomycosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is one of many threats facing amphibians worldwide. Ascertaining the severity of this threat to particular amphibian species is necessary if managers are to prioritize conservation actions. In New Zealand, Bd has been detected on both threatened endemic (Leiopelma spp.) and widespread introduced (Litoria spp.) anuran species, but Le. archeyi, one of four native species, has demonstrated low susceptibility to chytridiomycosis in captivity. To determine potential impacts of Bd on New Zealand's native anuran fauna, we assessed the susceptibility of two native species, Le. pakeka and Le. hochstetteri, to chytridiomycosis. We exposed Bd-naïve individuals to a virulent New Zealand isolate of Bd, and monitored infection status with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Both species demonstrated low susceptibility and all individuals cleared Bd infection (Le. hochstetteri by week 10, Le. pakeka by week 15). Furthermore, no frogs demonstrated clinical signs of chytridiomycosis. Since Le. archeyi has similarly demonstrated low susceptibility, this appears to be a genus-wide trend, which warrants further study of the mechanism of this response. These findings, in agreement with results from field surveys and analyses of skin peptide defenses, suggest that Bd poses a low risk to leiopelmatids. An investigative study of potential susceptibility to Bd, such as this one, can better equip managers to target imminent threats and focus conservation plans for at-risk amphibian fauna. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London. Source

Turner D.,James Cook University | Harrison S.L.,James Cook University | Buettner P.,Tropical Health Solutions Pty Ltd | Nowak M.,James Cook University
Health Education Research

Evaluate the comprehensiveness of primary school sun-protection policies in tropical North Queensland, Australia. Pre-determined criteria were used to assess publicly available sun-protection policies from primary schools in Townsville (latitude 19.3°S; n = 43), Cairns (16.9°S; n = 46) and the Atherton Tablelands (17.3°S; n = 23) during 2009-2012. Total scores determined policy comprehensiveness. The relationship between policy score, SunSmart status and demographic characteristics was explored. At least 96.6% of primary schools sampled had a sun-protection policy. Although policies of Cancer Council accredited 'SunSmart' schools addressed more environmental, curriculum and review-related criteria than those of 'non-SunSmart' schools, the overall median score for both groups was low at 2 from a possible 12 (48.5% of SunSmart schools [SSSs]: inter-quartile range [IQR = 2.0-9.0] versus 65.9% of non-SSSs: [IQR = 2.0-3.0], P = 0.008). Most policies addressed hat wearing, while criteria related to shade provision at outdoor events, regular policy review and using the policy to plan outdoor events were poorly addressed. Although most primary schools in skin cancer-prone North Queensland have written sun-protection policies, the comprehensiveness of these policies could be vastly improved. These schools may require further support and advice to improve the comprehensive of their policies and incentives to continually implement them to achieve and maintain exemplary sun-protection compliance. © 2014 The Author 2014. Source

Discover hidden collaborations