Add salt to ponds to reduce chytridiomycosis

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study in Australia found that following addition of salt to a pond containing the chytrid fungus, a population of green and golden bell frogs remained free of chytridiomycosis for at least six months.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 2000–2001 of captive green and golden bell frogs Litoria aurea in Sydney, Australia (White 2006) found that following addition of salt to a constructed pond the population remained free of chytridiomycosis for at least six months. Thirty-three of 40 green and golden bell frog tadpoles released survived to juvenile frogs in the salted pond. However, growth appeared slower in salt water than fresh water (first metamorph: 49 vs 43 days; last metamorph: 123 vs 76–80 days). Following addition of salt, the two striped marsh frogs Limnodynastes peroni tested were negative for chytridiomycosis. Striped marsh frogs had introduced chytridiomycosis to the pond and it had killed all but one of the previous green and golden bell frog population.  Following the initial outbreak of chytridiomycosis, uniodized table salt was added to the pond to achieve 1 parts per trillion (ppt) sodium chloride (3% sea water) in December 2000. Forty tadpoles were then released into the pond and were monitored weekly.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Smith, R.K., Meredith, H. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Amphibian Conservation. Pages 9-64 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Amphibian Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Amphibian Conservation
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