Special Issue "Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on Amphibians and Reptiles: Threats and Conservation"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Amaël Borzée
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Animal Behaviour and Conservation, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China
Interests: amphibian; conservation assessment; zoogeography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Amphibians and reptiles are among the most threatened groups of species, and their decline is linked to direct and indirect human activities. Threats generally include habitat loss or degradation, pathogens, invasive species, genetic erosion and hybridisation, and climate change. However, human activities are also the reason why some species are still extant, although the impact of conservation projects and that of protected areas is rarely scientifically assessed. For instance, the number of amphibian and reptile species benefitting from conservation activities and the impact of these projects on population dynamics is generally unclear, and the number of species extinct in the wild but surviving in captivity is not determined. This Special Issue focuses on novel research on the impact of human activities on amphibians and reptiles, and we welcome contributions focusing on both the vulnerability and conservation of species and populations, including policies and assessments of species’ threats and conservation statuses. Similarly, research on local adaptation—or the lack thereof—due to recent shifts in human activities are welcome, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and long-term factors such as adaptation to light and sound pollution, temperature increase and salinisation of the environment.

Prof. Dr. Amaël Borzée
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • amphibians
  • reptiles
  • anthropogenic impact
  • threat
  • conservation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Communication
A Simple Conservation Tool to Aid Restoration of Amphibians following High-Severity Wildfires: Use of PVC Pipes by Green Tree Frogs (Hyla cinerea) in Central Texas, USA
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120649 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class based on the IUCN Red List. Their decline has been linked to anthropogenic activities, with wildfires being among the most conspicuous agents of habitat alterations affecting native amphibians. In 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas [...] Read more.
Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class based on the IUCN Red List. Their decline has been linked to anthropogenic activities, with wildfires being among the most conspicuous agents of habitat alterations affecting native amphibians. In 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history occurred in the Lost Pines ecoregion of central Texas, USA, burning 39% of the 34,400 ha forest and drastically decreasing available habitats for many native wildlife species, including the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea). We investigated use of PVC pipes as artificial refuges for green tree frogs in different habitats within this post-fire pine forest. We monitored green tree frog use of small (diameter 38.1-mm, 1.5 inch) and large (diameter 50.8-mm, 2 inch) pipes located adjacent to, and 5 m from, ponds in burned and unburned areas over a 5-month period. We caught 227 frogs, 101 (24 adults and 77 juveniles) in burned and 126 (61 adults, 63 juveniles, and 2 unknown) in unburned areas. A relationship between pipe use by adults and/or juveniles and pipe location in burned versus unburned areas was found, but pipe use by adults and/or juveniles and pipe size were independent. Pipe use by adults and/or juveniles and pipe size were also independent. Juveniles were more frequently observed in pipes located adjacent to ponds. Our results confirmed that PVC pipes merit consideration as a simple, inexpensive, conservation tool to aid in restoration of green tree frog populations after high-severity wildfires. Such artificial refuges may be particularly important for survival of juveniles in severely altered post-fire habitats. Full article
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Article
Defining Conservation Requirements for the Suweon Treefrog (Dryophytes suweonensis) Using Species Distribution Models
Diversity 2021, 13(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13020069 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Numerous amphibian species are declining because of habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization of landscapes and the construction of roads. This is a mounting threat to species restricted to habitats close to urban areas, such as agricultural wetlands in North East Asia. [...] Read more.
Numerous amphibian species are declining because of habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization of landscapes and the construction of roads. This is a mounting threat to species restricted to habitats close to urban areas, such as agricultural wetlands in North East Asia. The Suweon treefrog (Dryophytes suweonensis) falls into the list of species threatened with habitat loss and most populations are under threat of extirpation. Over the last decades, sub-populations have become increasingly disconnected and specifically the density of paved roads has increased around the only site connecting northern and southern Seoul populations. We surveyed this locality in Hojobeol, Siheung, Republic of Korea in 2012, 2015 and 2019 to first confirm the decline in the number of sites where D. suweonensis was present. The second objective was to analyze the habitat characteristics and determine the remaining suitable habitat for D. suweonensis through a species distribution model following the maximum entropy method. Our results show that rice paddy cover and distance from the paved road are the most important factor defining suitable habitat for D. suweonensis. At this locality, uninterrupted rice paddies are a suitable habitat for the species when reaching at least 0.19 km2, with an average distance of 138 ± 93 m2 from the roads. We link the decrease in the number of sites where D. suweonensis is present with the decrease in rice paddy cover, generally replaced by localized infrastructures, greenhouses and habitat fragmentation. Rice paddies should remain connected over a large area for the protection of the remaining populations. In addition, habitat requirements should be integrated in the requisites to designate protected areas. Full article
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