Red List assessment of amphibian species of Ecuador: A multidimensional approach for their conservation

H. Mauricio Ortega-Andrade, Marina Rodes Blanco, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, Nereida Guerra Arévalo, Karima Gabriela López De Vargas-Machuca, Juan C. Sánchez-Nivicela, Diego Armijos-Ojeda, José Francisco Cáceres Andrade, Carolina Reyes-Puig, Amanda Belén Quezada Riera, Paul Székely, Octavio R.Rojas Soto, Diana Székely, Juan M. Guayasamin, Fausto Rodrigo Siavichay Pesántez, Luis Amador, Raquel Betancourt, Salomón M. Ramírez-Jaramillo, Bruno Timbe-Borja, Miguel Gómez LaportaJuan Fernando Webster Bernal, Luis Alfredo Oyagata Cachimuel, Daniel Chávez Jácome, Valentina Posse, Carlos Valle-Piñuela, Daniel Padilla Jiménez, Juan Pablo Reyes-Puig, Andrea Terán-Valdez, Luis A. Coloma, Ma Beatriz Pérez Lara, Sofía Carvajal-Endara, Miguel Urgilés, Mario H.Yánez Muñoz

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30 Citas (Scopus)


Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, but faces severe pressures and threats to its natural ecosystems. Numerous species have declined and require to be objectively evaluated and quantified, as a step towards the development of conservation strategies. Herein, we present an updated National Red List Assessment for amphibian species of Ecuador, with one of the most detailed and complete coverages for any Ecuadorian taxonomic group to date. Based on standardized methodologies that integrate taxonomic work, spatial analyses, and ecological niche modeling, we assessed the extinction risk and identified the main threats for all Ecuadorian native amphibians (635 species), using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Our evaluation reveals that 57% (363 species) are categorized as Threatened, 12% (78 species) as Near Threatened, 4% (26 species) as Data Deficient, and 27% (168 species) as Least Concern. Our assessment almost doubles the number of threatened species in comparison with previous evaluations. In addition to habitat loss, the expansion of the agricultural/cattle raising frontier and other anthropogenic threats (roads, human settlements, and mining/oil activities) amplify the incidence of other pressures as relevant predictors of ecological integrity. Potential synergic effects with climate change and emergent diseases (apparently responsible for the sudden declines), had particular importance amongst the threats sustained by Ecuadorian amphibians. Most threatened species are distributed in montane forests and paramo habitats of the Andes, with nearly 10% of them occurring outside the National System of Protected Areas of the Ecuadorian government. Based on our results, we recommend the following actions: (i) An increase of the National System of Protected Areas to include threatened species. (ii) Supporting the ex/in-situ conservation programs to protect species considered like Critically Endangered and Endangered. (iii) Focalizing research efforts towards the description of new species, as well as species currently categorized as Data Deficient (DD) that may turn out to be threatened. The implementation of the described actions is challenging, but urgent, given the current conservation crisis faced by amphibians.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe0251027
PublicaciónPLoS ONE
N.º5 May
EstadoPublicada - may. 2021


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