Update on Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in the Netherlands and Europe The invasive chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was introduced in the Netherlands. As a result of this invasive pathogen, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population has declined by 99.9%. The fungus remains present in the Netherlands, spreads and may have a wider distribution than currently known. In 2018 an outbreak was detected in a crested newt population (Triturus cristatus) in the central region of the Netherlands, and in 2020 a novel outbreak in a second region in South Limburg. The effects of an outbreak can have a major impact on local salamander and newt populations. In the Netherlands, in addition to dead fire salamanders, dead great crested newts and smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) have been found that had died due to a Bsal infection. It is possible to prevent the spread of a known outbreak and to protect populations, but actions must be quick and effective: ‘hit hard, hit early’. ‘Discovering’ new outbreaks in the Netherlands, both in wild populations and in collections, can be done through passive surveillance via a well-functioning Early Warning System, after which active surveillance by means of eDNA and swabs are suitable means for monitoring the fungus. Vrijwilligers die al jarenlang intensief de vuursalamander in Zuid-Limburg monitoren meldden ongeveer 15 jaar geleden een groot aantal dode vuursalamanders. Hun melding van deze opvallende sterfte en het volledig instorten van de inheemse populaties vuursalamanders leidden ertoe dat de chytrideschimmel Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) werd ontdekt. Deze voor salamanders dodelijke schimmel komt uit Oost-Azië en is door de wereldwijde handel in amfibieën en het gebrek aan bioveiligheid over de wereld getransporteerd en in het milieu terecht gekomen. Is de aanwezigheid van deze schimmel de doodsteek voor Nederlandse salamanders, of zijn er maatregelen te nemen?

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A. Spitzen, T. Stark, & M. Gilbert. (2021). Update Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Nederland en Europa. RAVON, 23(2), 28–31.
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