Open AccessDistribution mapping of specialized amphibian species in rare, ephemeral habitats: Implications for the conservation of threatened “acid” frogs in south‐east QueenslandOpen Access
Beyer Hawthorne L.,
Van Rensburg Berndt J.
conservation science and practice
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Abstract The acid frogs of eastern Australia are a highly specialized group of threatened species endemic to acidic coastal wetlands of southern Queensland and New South Wales. The distribution of these species overlaps with areas of increasing development where land‐use intensification poses a significant threat. Successful conservation of these species requires that areas of high conservation value for acid frogs are properly identified and protected, particularly in south‐east Queensland which supports important populations of all four acid frog species: Litoria olongburensis , Litoria freycineti , Crinia tinnula , and the Queensland‐endemic Litoria cooloolensis . Species distribution modeling using rigorously vetted species occurrence data was used to identify areas of potential acid frog habitat with >89% predictive power for all species. Key predictor variables for acid frog species occurrence included: soil sandiness, vegetation, presence and/or type of wetland, and soil clay content. All species' predicted distributions occurred primarily in coastal regions, overlapping with densely human‐populated areas. Our modeling and analysis of species' distributions highlight local government areas where protection of wallum habitat is most important for the conservation of acid frogs, as well as areas of higher conservation value providing habitat for multiple acid frog species.
Subject(s)amphibian , biology , ecology , endangered species , geography , habitat , introduced species , medicine , pathology , species distribution , threatened species , vegetation (pathology) , wetland
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