"Co-Generating a System Model to Improve Opportunities for Proactive Management of the Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) threat in North America"
In the last four decades, amphibian populations across the world have experienced declines attributed to climate change, habitat alteration, and infectious disease. Notably, many of these declines have been attributed to the introduction of novel pathogens through human-mediated movement to naïve amphibian species or populations (e.g., FV3-like ranavirus and Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Cunningham 2018). In order to gain traction in mitigating these pervasive threats to amphibian populations, we propose to develop a co-generated system model, or influence diagram, to improve opportunities for proactive management of a newly identified chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans [Bsal]). Using tools from decision theory, we will create a model that will be used to (1) quantitatively evaluate potential effects of alternative management actions, (2) generate novel actions for mitigation and control, and (3) improve communication with stakeholders and the public regarding Bsal and amphibian management decisions. Relevant to the mission of SESYNC, our approach will identify both ecological and social factors that influence the susceptibility and control of Bsal in native US amphibian populations.
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