The great frog decline in Australasia: causes, developments and conservation

Richards, Stephen J., Alford, Ross A., and Bradfield, Kay S. (2006) The great frog decline in Australasia: causes, developments and conservation. In: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M., and Lee, M.S.Y., (eds.) Evolution and Biogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Oatlands, NSW, Australia, pp. 241-252.

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The authors initially outline the current situation, explaining the focus on Australia with a description of factors that have contributed to altered emphases in research. A table summary of local frogs that have experienced significant declines and postulated causes is provided.

Current research initiatives are discussed under broad headings, with consideration of the impacts of UV-B radiation followed by comments on disease (variable incidence and virulence, apparent emergence of infectious conditions) and interactions with other species – especially exotic predators; the susceptibility of larvae which have not evolved appropriate avoidance mechanisms to introduced predators is emphasized. Documented impacts of pollutants are listed and select reports of mass mortalities are outlined.

The evidence indicating real population declines, rather than natural population fluctuations, is briefly reviewed. Examples of long-term monitoring programmes are described and the use of developmental stability analysis, as a rapid early-warning of population decline, is discussed. Contingency strategies, in the form of animal husbandry and assisted reproductive technologies, are considered; although clearly useful as part of conservation plans these techniques have a number of limitations. Areas requiring priority research include: details of specific ranges, abundance and habitat requirements as well as interactions between species and populations and diseases.

Item ID: 3582
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-9757790-1-9
Keywords: Australasian vertebrates; great frog decline; conservation
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2009 04:28
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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