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Global Bd Mapping Project: Update -- July 2010


Global Bd Mapping Project: Update -- July 2010

Another effort to compile Bd data worldwide has been completed!

Background information on the project can be found at our  earlier posts.


Global Bd Mapping Project: Update --- 7 July 2010

Dede Olson

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, OR

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


World Bd data are available online:

Ongoing work: A goal of the Project has been to understand the occurrence of Bd at the global scale. Our partners, Dr. David Aanensen and Dr. Matthew Fisher at Imperial College, London, UK, have developed and maintain the “Bd-Maps” website, see link above. Bd-Maps provides a central database and website for the collation of Bd incidence using Google Maps and Earth. Users can view the global distribution of collated data and zoom-in to precise locations (lat/long). There is other information at the website, including various summaries of Bd occurrences by location and species, and a link to a Bd blog. Soon, you will be able to register and submit your data directly to Bd-Maps through the web interface. Recently, a new smartphone data-uploading application, EpiCollect (iPhone and Android) has been developed by Dr. Aanensen and colleagues. See: and the publication at Under development is a Bd-Maps specific set of data fields allowing you to submit data, along with GPS co-ordinates and photos, to Bd-Maps using this method. There are additional website updates planned, including easier data uploading and exporting processes. The website capabilities for reporting and mapping other amphibian pathogens, such as Ranavirus, is under investigation.


A quick snapshot of the global Bd Maps data as of July 2010:


Bd has been detected in:

• 50 of 75 (67%) countries sampled

• 1,749 of 4,097 (42.69%) “wild sites” sampled (wild sites = discrete locations of animals sampled in the wild; includes point localities and vague data if unique area sampled and reported at a large spatial scale [such as for a country]; includes native and non-native species found in wild locations; this number excludes captive animal locations)

• 443 of 944 (47%) species sampled

• 387 of 830 (46.6%) anuran species sampled, 32 of 38 (84%) families sampled

• 56 of 109 (51.4%) salamander species sampled, 5 of 8 (62%) families sampled

• 0 of 5 caecilian species sampled, 0 of 2 families sampled


Map 1: Bd Detections: World Map

Map 2: Bd Not Detected: World Map

Map 3: Bd Detections and No Detections at the Watershed Scale: USA Map (lower 48 states)


“Not detected” means animals were sampled for Bd, and Bd was not found. It does not mean “absence” for several reasons, including: a) a small sample of animals may have been tested, and there may be a low prevalence of Bd in that population; b) the timing of sampling may have coincided with a low prevalence of Bd, reducing its detectability; and c) the sampling or laboratory methodology may have been imprecise, inaccurate, or faulty in some way. It was more difficult to compile “not detected” data because they were not always published, or they were not provided to us by data contributors. Hence, these Bd-Not-Detected data may under-represent the actual distribution of places where Bd has not been detected, compared to the Bd Detections map.


USA Watershed Map:

A new watershed-scale map for the USA (Map 3) gives a different view of the data. This perspective may be useful for some land or natural resource managers that are making on-the-ground decisions, for example, for implementation of disinfection procedures or movements of animals or water. If Bd is known from any site in a watershed, it is coded as being detected in that watershed. Although the precautionary approach would be to assume Bd occurs everywhere, and manage accordingly, our current (and limited) knowledge is shown here. One use of the watershed-scale map may be for fire managers who are making decisions about water draws for fighting wildfires. They may consider the known distribution of aquatic invasive species, including Bd, and disinfect water draws accordingly. Alternatively, thinking of the distribution of Bd in terms of watersheds may help guide future surveillance efforts. A 5th-field watershed scale (5th-level hydrologic unit code, HUC) is used in this projection because this scale allows the distribution of Bd to be shown without giving precise coordinates, which are not available for some locations and are potentially problematic for some studies. Information on watershed (hydrologic unit) boundaries is available at: (accessed 29 April 2010).


Herpetological Review has expanded its Bd Distribution section to include all amphibian diseases. Since the Bd Distribution section originated a little over 2 years ago, there have been 61 submissions! Most of these data are now included in the Global Bd Mapping Project. Thank you authors!


Information Sheets about Bd and other amphibian diseases can be found at the SE PARC website, under the link to the Disease/Pathogens/Parasites Task Team:


Bd field disinfection protocols are available at these websites:






Acknowledgments: Special thanks to:

1) Kathryn Ronnenberg (US Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon) for managing the data for the Global Bd Mapping project, with special attention to cross referencing new and old scientific names of amphibians tested for Bd;

2) Susan Walker and Chris Powell (Imperial College, London, UK) for Bd-maps website management;

3) Kelly Christiansen (US Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon) for GIS expertise and map creation; and

4) the US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Station Director’s Office, Portland, Oregon, for the Decision Support award received for this project.


Contact: Dede Olson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Who is PARC?

Our membership comes from all walks of life and includes individuals from state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, museums, pet trade industry, nature centers, zoos, energy industry, universities, herpetological organizations, research laboratories, forest industries, and environmental consultants.