Holmes, Iris; McLaren, Kurt/P./Wilson, Byron S
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Niche Modeling for Managementready Information in Little-studied, Threatened Frog Species Assemblages
Journal for Nature Conservation
Date of Publication
We use species distribution modeling to create easily testable hypotheses about the current and future distributions of Jamaican frogs, a little studied but highly endangered group. Our models simultaneously represent the best possible current estimate of the frogs’ ranges and provide clear guidelines for future survey work and habitat preservation efforts. We identify areas that contain the highest frog biodiversity, the highest per-unit area frog conservation benefit, and areas that are putative climatic refuges from outbreaks of the frog disease chytridiomycosis. In addition, we use the distribution models to create a set of easily falsifiable predictions about frog presence or absence. Testing these predictions using presence/absence surveys will provide management-ready information about model quality, population trajectories, changes in realized climate tolerance, and disease presence. We present a method of generating targeted conservation recommendations that will be applicable to many little-studied, cryptic taxa worldwide.....