Once chytrid was identified on Montserrat in February 2009, a rescue mission brought 50 frogs off the island and into a bio-secure breeding programme held between the partner institutions. By July 2009, chytrid had been confirmed in the last healthy population of
Mountain Chickens. This led to a field trial of the effectiveness of using anti-fungal treatment baths in the wild to reduce the mortality in the remaining population. Now, captive breeding and re-introduction seems to be the best hope for the Mountain Chickens.
The major conservation response in Montserrat is now led by the Darwin-funded project. Through a combination of field study, reintroductions and capacity-building the project aims to ensure that wild mountain chickens can persist in Montserrat.
The project will also benefit Montserrat in a number of ways including restoring a flagship species for Montserrat and the Centre Hills Protected Area. There will also be training opportunities for a Montserratian MSc student studying the ecology of the disease. Key field staff from the Montserrat Department of Environment will also receive broader training from Durrell and ZSL.