New policy recommendation published in collaboration with the Lab of Animal Communication from Ewha Woman’s University!
Research on species conservation provides the base for the subsequent implementation of conservation projects. Similarly, conservation policy recommendations provide a support that can be used by law makers to promote the conservation of species and habitats. Here, we provide a policy recommendation aimed at stopping the proliferation of emerging diseases and invasive species in the Republic of Korea.
Amphibian diseases and invasive amphibian species are both generally introduced through the wildlife trade, either for human consumption or for the pet trade. However, adequate regulations can prevent such introductions.
In the Republic of Korea, the main known threats coming from invasive diseases are Batrachochytrids. While B. dendrobatidis is known to have a sub-lethal impact on local species, the impact of D. salamandrivorans is unknown. In addition, the proliferation of the invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has resulted in the extirpation of some local amphibian populations, the spread of diseases and there are multiple risks of invasion by other species.
The same risks and threats to the ecosystems arise from most amphibian species in the trade, some of which are already found in the wild. While regulations exist for the trade of wildlife in general, they are not directly addressing the amphibian trade, especially not newly traded species. Based on these variables and threats, we recommend a restriction to the amphibian trade in the Republic of Korea.