Research Continues on Long-Term Recovery Strategy for the Critically Endangered Mountain Chicken

Dr Mike Hudson of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust was recently on island to work with members of the Department of Environment (DOE) to continue planning the next stage of the long term mountain chicken recovery programme.

Years of mountain chicken data has been analysed in relation to the reintroduction of mountain chickens back to Montserrat from the breeding programme in Europe.  Pertinent information on the disease called Chytridiomycosis, caused by the Chytrid fungus has been studied and scientists believe that they may actually be in a position to control certain parameters to slow the spread of the disease thus increasing the chances of the frogs’ survival.

Studies have shown that the fungus is very sensitive to temperatures above 28°C. As a result, Both Durrell and the Department of Environment are planning to build an enclosure in the forest on Montserrat within which the environment can be controlled to make it less “disease suitable”.

 The programme will also include the construction of an insect breeding facility to ensure the reintroduced captive bred mountain chickens are well fed in their enclosure.  It is hoped that the infrastructure would be in place to receive the frogs within two years.  The DOE will update the public as that time draws closer. It is hoped that this project will provide opportunities for the involvement of people locally and abroad who share a vision passion for bringing the mountain chicken back to Montserrat.

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1 Response

  1. Emma Sweeney says:

    To Whom it May Concern,

    I am a final year student studying Zoo Biology in Nottingham (UK), and I am currently writing my dissertation; ‘An Investigation into the Prevalence of Chytridiomycosis Within the Amphibian Population, Specifically the Mountain Chicken Frog (Leptodactylus fallax), and the Conservational Options Available to Potentially Save the Species’, and I am wondering if I could ask you some questions based on any data you have collected in regards to Chitridiomycosis and the decline of the species. I am extremely passionate and aware about the severity of the disease within the amphibian population, and would greatly appreciate any knowledge and/or data you can provide me with, if you have the chance.
    Thank you so much for your time,
    Emma Sweeney

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