Diverse Phenomena Influencing Amphibian Population Declines

Tim Halliday

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI:
Diverse Phenomena Influencing Amphibian Population Declines

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Twelve years after the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force was established, those who have to answer queries from other biologists and the media are still unable to say why amphibians are declining. This chapter discusses a number of issues concerning amphibian population declines and examines some of the reasons for these declines. Scientific and media attention in the last twelve years has been largely focused on the sudden collapses of amphibian faunas in protected areas, notably in Australia, Central America, and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. This attention is appropriate because these changes are deeply disturbing and have profound implications for conservation. In particular, the fact that amphibians can decline catastrophically in protected areas raises serious doubts about the efficacy of protection as a means for conserving biodiversity. Protecting an area eliminates only some of the environmental insults that threaten the inhabiting wildlife. Protection does eliminate one factor that threatens wildlife — habitat destruction. This chapter looks at environmental pollution, variation in susceptibility to extinction, amphibian ranges and population structure, dynamics of amphibian reproduction, and amphibian habitats.

Keywords: amphibians; population declines; protected areas; conservation; environmental pollution; habitat destruction; extinction; population structure; reproduction; habitats

Chapter.  3191 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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