University of Tennessee Conference Center
Knoxville, TN, USA
Extinction rates of herpetofauna are 60X greater than background extinction rates, and 2 – 4X greater than other vertebrate groups. A primary cause of herpetofauna population declines and species extinctions is emerging infectious diseases. Snake fungal disease, pond turtle shell disease, ranaviral disease and chytridiomycosis are a few of the diseases contributing to local, regional and global die-off events. Although the pathogens and hosts involved in herpetofauna epizootics are diverse, commonalities in factors contributing to disease emergence exist. Humans frequently play a role in amphibian and reptile disease emergence, through the unintentional translocation of pathogens in trade or affecting environmental conditions that influence likelihood of host infection. The future of disease management in herpetofaunal communities will depend on a holistic approach to managing habitat, hosts, and a myriad of factors that impact pathogen transmission. Understanding commonalities among herpetofaunal disease systems is key toward developing robust management strategies that foster resiliency to pathogen invasion.
The goal of the GARD 2022 is to bring together scientists from across the globe to discuss various amphibian and reptile diseases, organize facilitated discussions on the similarities and differences among host-pathogen systems, and identify disease management strategies that can be used to ensure the conservation of herpetofauna species for generations to come!
For conference details please see the conference website (CLICK HERE).