Although the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a causal agent behind precipitous amphibian declines globally, little is known about its regional distribution in New York State (NYS). With an aim toward increased understanding of B. dendrobatidis prevalence locally, we collected amphibians between April through November 2012 at the Rice Creek Field Station in Oswego County, NY, and took swabs of the ventral surfaces of all individuals caught. Polymerase chain reaction on DNA extracted from swabs and comparison with B. dendrobatidis control DNA showed that 30% of amphibians sampled carried the fungus, with prevalence ranging between 20–50%) for Lithobates catesbeianus (Bull Frogs), Lithobates clamitans (Green Frogs), Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peepers), and Eurycea bislineata (Two-lined Salamanders). We detected Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis only during the months of April, May, June, August, and September of the sampling period. June and September had the highest percentage of amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis at 32 and 48%), respectively. This study represents the first time that B. dendrobatidis has been documented in Oswego County and only the second time that the fungus has been documented in NYS. The documented prevalence levels in combination with lack of observed mass amphibian declines suggest that the fungus may be endemic in local amphibian populations, but additional research is needed to establish the relative importance of these data for the health of amphibian populations in Oswego County and NYS.
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Vol. 21 • No. 1