Extinction risk assessments at the population and species level: Implications for amphibian conservation

Carlos Guilherme Becker, Rafael Dias Loyola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Amphibian populations are declining worldwide and this is causing growing concern. High levels of population declines followed by the expansion of red lists are creating demands for effective strategies to maximize conservation efforts for amphibians. Ideally, integrated and comprehensive strategies should be based on complementary information of population and species extinction risk. Here we evaluate the congruence between amphibian extinction risk assessments at the population level (Declining Amphibian Database - DAPTF) and at species level (GAA - IUCN Red List). We used the Declining Amphibian Database - DAPTF that covers 967 time-series records of amphibian population declines assigned into four levels of declines. We assigned each of its corresponding species into GAA - IUCN red list status, discriminated each species developmental mode, and obtained their geographic range size as well. Extinction risk assessments at the population and species level do not fully coincide across geographic realms or countries. In Paleartic, Neartic and Indo-Malayan realms less than 25% of species with reported population declines are formally classified as threatened. In contrast, more than 60% of all species with reported population declines that occur in Australasia and the Neotropics are indeed threatened according to the GAA - IUCN Red List. Species with aquatic development presented proportionally higher extinction risks at both population and species level than those with terrestrial development, being this pattern more prominent at Australasia, Paleartic, and Neartic realms. Central American countries, Venezuela, Mexico and Australia presented the highest congruence between both population and species risk. We address that amphibian conservation strategies could be improved by using complementary information on time-series population trends and species threat. Whenever feasible, conservation assessments should also include life-history traits in order to improve its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2297-2304
Number of pages8
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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