Jonathan Kolby

Jonathan Kolby
James Cook University · Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health & Tropical Medicine

About

43
Publications
22,256
Reads
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1,956
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
1771 Citations
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Introduction
I'm a National Geographic Explorer & recent PhD graduate from James Cook University where I studied Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Ecology with a focus on the global amphibian extinction crisis caused by chytrid fungus. I now work as a CITES Policy Specialist for the US Fish & Wildlife Service & I'm an expert working with international wildlife trade data. I'm the founder of the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (http://www.frogrescue.com) where we're working to save 3 endangered species from extinction. My current citizen science project "Saving Salamanders with Citizen Science" aims to help detect the emergence of salamander chytrid in the USA. Please contact me if you share my interests & want to collaborate! Email me: jonathan.kolby@my.jcu.edu.au
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - present
James Cook University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (43)
Article
Full-text available
The spread of amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis , is associated with the emerging infectious wildlife disease chytridiomycosis. This fungus poses an overwhelming threat to global amphibian biodiversity and is contributing toward population declines and extinctions worldwide. Extremely low host-species specificity potentially...
Article
Full-text available
Global spread of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) may involve dispersal mechanisms not previously explored. Weather systems accompanied by strong wind and rainfall have been known to assist the dispersal of microbes pathogenic to plants and animals, and we considered a similar phenomenon might occur with B...
Article
Full-text available
The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hu...
Article
Full-text available
The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trad...
Article
Full-text available
We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the threats to wildlife across space and time is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In Mesoamerica (i.e., the region that extends from Central Mexico to the most southern point in Panama) at least 40% of amphibian species declined between the late 1970s and the early 2000s. Most of these declines have been lin...
Article
Full-text available
Overexploitation is a key driver of biodiversity loss but the relationship between the use and trade of species and conservation outcomes is not always straightforward. Accurately characterizing wildlife trade and understanding the impact it has on wildlife populations are therefore critical to evaluating the potential threat trade poses to species...
Article
Full-text available
Cloud forests are amongst the most biologically unique, yet threatened, ecosystems in Mesoamerica. We summarize the ecological value and conservation status of a well-studied cloud forest site: Cusuco National Park (CNP), a 23,440 ha protected area in the Merendón mountains, northwest Honduras. We show cnp to have exceptional biodiversity; of 966 t...
Article
Full-text available
Lambert et al . question our retrospective and holistic epidemiological assessment of the role of chytridiomycosis in amphibian declines. Their alternative assessment is narrow and provides an incomplete evaluation of evidence. Adopting this approach limits understanding of infectious disease impacts and hampers conservation efforts. We reaffirm th...
Article
Full-text available
-Oversimplification of the interpretation of wildlife trade data jeopardizes the ability of policy makers to prioritize aiming limited resources towards those species that truly require protection from unsustainable trade and wildlife trafficking, which threaten species with extinction. -In a recent study published in Science, the authors expressed...
Article
Full-text available
The demise of amphibians? Rapid spread of disease is a hazard in our interconnected world. The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was identified in amphibian populations about 20 years ago and has caused death and species extinction at a global scale. Scheele et al. found that the fungus has caused declines in amphibian populations every...
Chapter
There are approximately 7000 described species of amphibians in the world, and many are currently in decline. In today’s rapidly developing world, biodiversity loss represents a growing threat to global health, and highly virulent wildlife diseases are emerging with greater frequency. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)...
Article
Amphibian populations around the world are declining in part due to diseases from infection with the chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bs). While declines in more charismatic megafauna are common sources of public awareness and concern, such as the loss of elephants to poaching or polar bears t...
Article
Despite calls for improved responses to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife, management is seldom considered until a disease has been detected in affected populations. Reactive approaches may limit the potential for control and increase total response costs. An alternative, proactive management framework can identify immediate actions that red...
Article
Full-text available
The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salaman...
Research
Full-text available
A new salamander disease is spreading around the world and we need your help to find out where it's going! Please join my citizen science project to help save the salamanders: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/saving-salamanders-with-citizen-science With your help, we might be able to detect salamander chytrid in the USA much faster than with tr...
Chapter
The spread of amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is associated with the emerging infectious wildlife disease chytridiomycosis. This fungus poses an overwhelming threat to global amphibian biodiversity and is contributing toward population declines and extinctions worldwide. Extremely low host-species specificity potentially t...
Article
Full-text available
An important aspect of evaluating biodiversity in a region, starting a monitoring program or informing conservation management decisions is having a good understanding of the taxonomy of local species. However, identification to the species-level can be challenging. A combination of DNA-based and phenotypic character analysis can provide a prelimin...
Article
Full-text available
A new salamander disease is spreading around the world and we need your help to find out where it's going! Please join my citizen science project to help save the salamanders: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/saving-salamanders-with-citizen-science With your help, we might be able to detect salamander chytrid in the USA much faster than with t...
Article
Full-text available
The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widesp...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal and exposure to amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is not confined to the aquatic habitat, but little is known about pathways that facilitate exposure to wild terrestrial amphibians that do not typically enter bodies of water. We explored the possible spread of Bd from an aquatic reservoir to terrestrial substra...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicit...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicit...
Article
Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses ot...
Article
Full-text available
Phytotelmata are plant-held water bodies housing complex aquatic invertebrate communities drawing attention for their suitability as breeding sites for disease bearing mosquitoes, and the unique fauna occurring in these habitats. Despite the human and scientific relevance, relatively little information is available on the water characteristics in t...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was...
Article
Full-text available
Specimens of 18 native reptile and amphibian species were collected for the Department of Biology, Santou University, on Nan Ao Island, Guangdong Province, China. Four of five lizard species appear to be new records: Gekko subpalmatus (major range extension), Ateuchosaurus chinensis (we present life history data), Eumeces chinensis and Sphenomorphu...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
What are the health risks associated with the trade in wild animals and their products? Bushmeat is only part of the story. This group aims to foster risk assessment methods to better understand and mitigate these risks.
Project
My goal is to prevent salamander declines and extinctions in the United States caused by the spread of salamander chytrid fungus. I'm working to create an early warning system for the arrival of this pathogen through citizen science involvement. Early detection will provide a better chance for a successful emergency response.