Biological Invasions

, 11:713

Predicting establishment success for alien reptiles and amphibians: a role for climate matching

  • Mary Bomford
  • Fred Kraus
  • Simon C. Barry
  • Emma Lawrence
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-008-9285-3

Cite this article as:
Bomford, M., Kraus, F., Barry, S.C. et al. Biol Invasions (2009) 11: 713. doi:10.1007/s10530-008-9285-3


We examined data comprising 1,028 successful and 967 failed introduction records for 596 species of alien reptiles and amphibians around the world to test for factors influencing establishment success. We found significant variations between families and between genera. The number of jurisdictions where a species was introduced was a significant predictor of the probability the species had established in at least one jurisdiction. All species that had been introduced to more than 10 jurisdictions (34 species) had established at least one alien population. We also conducted more detailed quantitative comparisons for successful (69 species) and failed (116 species) introductions to three jurisdictions (Great Britain, California and Florida) to test for associations with climate match, geographic range size, and history of establishment success elsewhere. Relative to failed species, successful species had better climate matches between the jurisdiction where they were introduced and their geographic range elsewhere in the world. Successful species were also more likely to have high establishment success rates elsewhere in the world. Cross-validations indicated our full model correctly categorized establishment success with 78–80% accuracy. Our findings may guide risk assessments for the import of live alien reptiles and amphibians to reduce the rate new species establish in the wild.


Alien speciesAmphibiansClimate matchingEstablishment successPredictionReptilesRisk assessment



Receiver operating characteristic curve


United States of America

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Bomford
    • 1
  • Fred Kraus
    • 2
  • Simon C. Barry
    • 3
  • Emma Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.Bureau of Rural SciencesCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Natural SciencesBishop MuseumHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.CSIRO Mathematical and Information SciencesCanberraAustralia