Advertisement

Priority areas for amphibian conservation in a neotropical megadiverse country: the need for alternative, non place based, conservation

  • Dirk EmbertEmail author
  • Steffen Reichle
  • Daniel M. Larrea-Alcázar
  • Claudia Cortez
  • Arturo Muñoz
  • Lucindo Gonzales
  • Rossy Montaño
  • Rodrigo Aguayo
  • Enrique Domic
  • José M. Padial
  • Mayra Maldonado
  • Patricia Caballero
  • Marcelo Guerrero
Original Paper

Abstract

Amphibians constitute one of the most threatened species group worldwide. Because they are affected by various threats such as habitat destruction, chytrid fungus, climate change, invasive species and human use, different approaches are needed for their conservation. In this paper we examine patterns of alpha diversity, endemism and threatened species distributions of amphibians in Bolivia. We modeled distribution data using ecological niche modeling implemented with MaxEnt (Maximum Entropy Modeling). In contrast with previous studies, we validated each individual map with specialists. Important areas for amphibian conservation were defined by overlapping species richness, endemism richness and concentration of threatened species, and then excluding all unsuitable habitats. Our goal was to identify high-priority sites for the conservation of amphibians in Bolivia. We discuss a place-based strategy (identification of priority areas) and the need for further non place-based strategies. We highlight the importance of strengthening two existing protected areas that together host up to 40% of Bolivia’s threatened amphibian species, and we propose alternative strategies such as ex situ conservation for those species not covered by the priority areas. Bolivia’s General Directorate for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (in Spanish, Dirección General de Biodiversidad y Áreas Protegidas (DGBAP)) and Bolivian experts are jointly using the here presented results to define a national strategy of amphibian conservation for safeguarding this important element of Bolivia’s biodiversity.

Keywords

Amphibians Bolivia Endemism richness Ex situ conservation Habitat destruction Non place-based Place based 

Abbreviations

AUC

Area under curve

CES

Complexes of ecological systems

DEM

Digital elevation model

DGBAP

General Directorate for Biodiversity and Protected Areas

DP

Departmental Park

GARP

Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Production

IUCN

International Union for Conservation of Nature

NP

National Park

ROC

Receiver operating characteristic

SCH

Status of conservation of habitat

Notes

Acknowledgments

The project was supported by funds provided by The Embassy of Netherlands to the Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN, Project: Identifying centers of species richness, rarity and endemism of Bolivia). JM Padial was funded by the EU Marie Curie Mobility and Training Program (FP7, proposal 220714). We thank Humberto Gomez, Denisse Quiroga and Boris Rios for their valuable comments and technical assistance during the whole project.

References

  1. Aguayo R (2009) Anfibios. In: Libro rojo de la fauna silvestre de vertebrados de Bolivia, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua 2009. La PazGoogle Scholar
  2. Araujo N, Mueller R, Nowicki C, Ibisch P (eds) (2010) Análisis de Vacíos de Representatividad del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas de Bolivia. SERNAP/GEFII. FAN/TROPICO/CEP/NORDECOGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrionuevo JS, Aguayo R, Lavilla E (2008) First record of chytridiomycosis in Bolivia (Rhinella quechua; Anura: Bufonidae). Dis Aquat Organ 82:161–163PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bini LM, Diniz-Filho JAF, Rangel TFLVB, Bastos RP, Pinto MP (2006) Challenging Wallacean and Innean shortfalls: knowledge gradients and conservation planning in a biodiversity hotspot. Divers Distrib 12:475–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blaustein AR, Romansic JM, Kiesecker JM, Hatch AC (2003) Ultraviolet radiation, toxic chemicals and amphibian population declines. Divers Distrib 9:123–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boone MD, Corn PS, Donnelly MA, Little EE, Niewiarowski PH (2003) Physical stressors. In: Linder G, Krest SK, Sparling DW (eds) Amphibian decline: an integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, pp 129–151Google Scholar
  7. Cadena C, Klicka J, Ricklefs RE (2007) Evolutionary differentiation in the Neotropical montane region: Molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography of Buarremon brush-finches (Aves, Emberizidae). Mol Phylogenet Evol 44:993–1016PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carey C, Alexander M (2003) Climate change and amphibian declines: is there a link? Divers Distrib 9:111–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cushman SA (2006) Effects of habitat loss and fragmentation in amphibians: a review and prospectus. Biol Conserv 128:231–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daszak P, Cunningham AA, Hyatt AD (2003) Infectious disease and amphibian population declines. Divers Distrib 9:141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dobson AP, Rodriguez JP, Roberts WM, Wilcove DS (1997) Geographic distribution of endangered species in the United States. Science 275:550–553PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Embert D (2007) Distribution and Conservation status of Bolivian Reptiles. Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University, BonnGoogle Scholar
  13. Fjeldså J (1994) Geographical patterns for relict and young species of birds in Africa and South America and implications for conservation priorities. Biodiver Conserv 3:207–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frost DR (2010) Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April, 2010). American Museum of Natural History, New York. http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/
  15. Hernandez PA, Franke I, Herzog SK, Pacheco V, Paniagua L, Quintana HL, Soto A, Swenson JJ, Tovar C, Valqui TH, Vargas J, Young BE (2008) Predicting species distributions in poorly-studied landscapes. Biodivers Conserv 17:1353–1366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hijmans RJ, Cameron SE, Parra JL, Jones PG, and Jarvis A (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. Int J Climatol 25:1965–1978. http://www.worldclim.org. Cited 24 March 2009Google Scholar
  17. Hughes C, Eastwood R (2006) Island radiation on a continental scale: exceptional rates of plant diversification after uplift of the Andes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:10334–10339PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ibisch PL, Beck SG, Gerkmann B, Carretero A (2003) Ecorregiones y Ecosistemas. In: Ibisch PL, Mérida G (eds) Biodiversidad: La Riqueza de Bolivia. Estado de conocimiento y conservación. Ministerio de Desarrollo Sostenible. Editorial FAN, Santa Cruz, pp 47–88Google Scholar
  19. Josse C, Navarro G, Encarnación F, Tovar A, Comer P, Ferreira W, Rodríguez F, Saito J, Sanjurjo J, Dyson J, Rubin de Celis E, Zárate R, Chang J, Ahuite M, Vargas C, Paredes F, Castro W, Maco J, Reátegui F (2007) Sistemas Ecológicos de la Cuenca Amazónica de Perú y Bolivia. Clasificación y mapeo. NatureServe, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  20. Knight A, Cowling RM, Rouget M, Balmford A, Lombard AT, Campbell BM (2008) Knowing but not doing: selecting priority conservation areas and the research–implementation gap. Conserv Biol 22(3):610–617PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lamoreux JF, Morrison JC, Ricketts TH, Olson DM, Dinerstein E, McKnight MW, Shugart HH (2006) Global tests of biodiversity concordance and the importance of endemism. Nature 440:212–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loyola RD, Kubota U, Lewinsohn TM (2007) Endemic vertebrates are the most effective surrogates for identifying conservation priorities among Brazilian ecoregions. Divers Distrib 13:389–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mendelson JR, Lips KR, Gagliardo RW, Rabb GB, Collins JP, Diffendorfer JE, Daszak P, Ibanez R, Zippel KC, Lawson DP, Wright KM, Stuart SN, Gascon C, da Silva HR, Burrowes PA, Joglar RL, La Marca E, Lotters S, du Preez LH, Weldon C, Hyatt A, Rodriguez-Mahecha JV, Hunt S, Robertson H, Lock B, Raxworthy CJ, Frost DR, Lacy RC, Alford RA, Campbell JA, Parra-Olea G, Bolanos F, Domingo JJC, Halliday T, Murphy JB, Wake MH, Coloma LA, Kuzmin SL, Price MS, Howell KM, Lau M, Pethiyagoda R, Boone M, Lannoo MJ, Blaustein AR, Dobson A, Griffiths RA, Crump ML, Wake DB, Brodie ED (2006) Biodiversity. Confronting amphibian declines and extinctions. Science 313:48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meyers N, Mittermeier RA, Goettsch C, da Fonseca G, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ministerio de Desarrollo Sostenible (2004) Centro Digital de Recursos Naturales de Bolivia. Información Geoespacial-Vector Nacional, Lagos y lagunasGoogle Scholar
  26. Mittermeier RA, Róbles-Gil P, Goettsch C (1997) Biodiversidad, los países biológicamente más ricos del mundo. CEMEX/Agrupación Sierra Madre S.C., México D.FGoogle Scholar
  27. Myers N (1988) Threatened biotas: ‘hotspots’ in tropical forests. Environmentalist 8:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Myers N (1990) The biodiversity challenge: expanded hot-spots analysis. Environmentalist 10:243–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Navarro G, Ferreira W (2007) Mapa de Vegetación de Bolivia, Esc. 1:250 000. ISBN: 978-99954-0-168-9. The nature conservancy (TNC). Edición digital. Santa Cruz de la SierraGoogle Scholar
  30. Navarro G, Ferreira W, Antezana C, Arrázola S, Vargas R (2004) Bio-corredor Amboró Madidi, zonificación ecológica. Editorial FAN, Santa Cruz de la SierraGoogle Scholar
  31. Nowicki C, Müller R, Cuéllar S, Ibisch PL (2009) Estado de conservación de los ecosistemas de Bolivia. In: Araujo N, Müller R, Nowicki C, Ibisch PL (eds) Prioridades de Conservación de la Biodiversidad de Bolivia. SERNAP, FAN, TROPICO, CEP, NORDECO, GEF II, CI, TNC, WCS, Universidad de Eberswalde. Editorial FAN, Santa CruzGoogle Scholar
  32. Ohlemüller R, Anderson BJ, Araújo MB, Butchart SHM, Kudrna O, Ridgely RS, Thomas CD (2008) The coincidence of climatic and species rarity: high risk to small-range species from climate change. Biol Lett 4:568–572PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Olson D, Dinerstein E (1998) The global 200: a representative approach to conserving the earth’s most biological valuable ecoregions. Conserv Biol 3:502–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Patton JL, Smith MF (1992) MtDNA phylogeny of Andean mice: a test of diversification across ecological gradients. Evolution 46:174–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pawar S, Koob MS, Kelleya C, Ahmed MF, Chaudhurid S, Sarkara S (2007) Conservation assessment and prioritization of areas in northeast India: priorities for amphibians and reptiles. Biol Conserv 136:346–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pearson RG, Raxworthy CJ, Nakamura M, Peterson AT (2007) Predicting species distributions from small numbers of occurrence records: a test case using cryptic geckos in Madagascar. J Biogeogr 34:102–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peterson TA, Papes M, Eaton M (2007) Transferability and model evaluation in ecological niche modeling: a comparison of GARP and Maxent. Ecography 30:550–560Google Scholar
  38. Phillips SJ, Dudík M (2008) Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31:161–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Phillips SJ, Anderson RP, Schapired RE (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geograp-hic distributions. Ecol Model 190:231–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pianka ER (1966) Latitudinal gradients in species diversity: a review of concepts. Am Nat 100:33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Prendergast JR, Quinn RM, Lawton JH, Eversham BC, Gibbons DW (1993) Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies. Nature 365:335–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rahbek C (1997) The relationship among area, elevation and regional species richness in Neotropical birds. Am Nat 149:875–902PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reichle S (2007) Distribution and conservation status of Bolivian amphibians. Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University, BonnGoogle Scholar
  44. Ribas CC, Moyle RG, Miyaki CY, Cracraft J (2007) The assembly of montane biotas: linking Andean tectonics and climatic oscillations to independent regimes of diversification in Pionus parrots. Proc Biol Sci 274:2399–2408PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rondinini C, Wilson KA, Boitani L, Grantham H, Possingham HP (2006) Tradeoffs of different types of species occurrence data for use in systematic conservation planning. Ecol Lett 9:1136–1145PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Scott JM, Davis F, Csuti B, Noss R, Butterfield B, Groves C, Anderson H, Caicco SL, D’Ericha F, Edwards TC Jr, Ullman J, Wright RG (1993) Gap analysis: a geographic approach to the protection of biological diversity. Wildl Monogr 23:1–41Google Scholar
  47. Simpson GG (1964) Species density of North American recent mammals. Syst Zool 13:57–73 Map in Brown JH, Lomolino MV (1998) Biogeography: Second Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers. Sunderland, MassachusettsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Soberón J, Peterson AT (2005) Interpretation of models of fundamental ecological niches and species’ distributional areas. Biodivers Inform 2:1–10Google Scholar
  49. Stuart SN, Chanson JS, Cox NA, Young BE, Rodrigues ASL, Fischman DL, Waller RW (2004) Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science 306:1783–1786PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tognelli M (2005) Assessing the utility of indicator groups for the conservation of South American terrestrial mammals. Biol Conserv 121:409–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wake DB, Vredenburg VT (2008) Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:11466–11473PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wallace AR (1878) Tropical nature and other essays. McMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Weir JT (2006) Divergent timing and patterns of species accumulation in lowland and highland Neotropical birds. Evolution 60:842–855PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Whittaker RJ, Araujo MB, Paul J, Ladle RJ, Watson JEM, Willis KJ (2005) Conservation biogeography: assessment and prospect. Divers Distrib 11:3–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Young BE, Stuart SN, Chanson JS, Cox NA, Boucher TM (2004) Joyas que Están Desapareciendo: El Estado de Conservación de los Anfibios en el Nuevo Mundo. NatureServe, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Embert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Steffen Reichle
    • 2
  • Daniel M. Larrea-Alcázar
    • 3
  • Claudia Cortez
    • 4
  • Arturo Muñoz
    • 5
  • Lucindo Gonzales
    • 6
  • Rossy Montaño
    • 6
  • Rodrigo Aguayo
    • 7
  • Enrique Domic
    • 4
  • José M. Padial
    • 8
  • Mayra Maldonado
    • 6
  • Patricia Caballero
    • 3
  • Marcelo Guerrero
    • 9
  1. 1.The Nature ConservancyBonnGermany
  2. 2.The Nature ConservancyBonnGermany
  3. 3.Departamento de CienciasFundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN)Santa Cruz de la SierraBolivia
  4. 4.University Mayor de San AndrésLa PazBolivia
  5. 5.Natural History Museum Alcide D’OrbignyiCochabambaBolivia
  6. 6.Natural History Museum Noel Kempff MercadoSanta CruzBolivia
  7. 7.Center for Biodiversity and GeneticsCochabambaBolivia
  8. 8.Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology CentreUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  9. 9.Center for Investigation PandoCobijaBolivia

Personalised recommendations