Protecting Amphibians While Restoring Fish Populations

Debra Patla

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI:
Protecting Amphibians While Restoring Fish Populations

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Park and wildlife managers are facing an ironic dilemma as they work to restore and protect aquatic ecosystems — must amphibians be sacrificed if native fish are to return? Over the past century throughout the United States, resource managers sought to enhance the recreational value of lakes and streams by stocking non-native (exotic) game fish. The “success” of this effort is now recognized as a serious impediment to conserving natural aquatic biodiversity. Introduced fish endanger and replace native fish species through predation, competition, hybridization, and disease transmission. In many cases, bringing back the natives is doomed unless the introduced fish are eradicated. In Yellowstone National Park, four species of non-native trout were introduced, have become established, and threaten the survival of indigenous fish. A program to remove non-native trout has begun, but techniques used to remove these fish also threaten amphibians. Recommendations are made to eliminate or reduce the threat to amphibians, including making managers aware of the presence of amphibians, and offering strategies for reducing amphibian vulnerability to fish removal techniques.

Keywords: Yellowstone National Park; trout; amphibians; aquatic ecosystems; biodiversity; fish removal; native fish; introduced fish; predation; competition

Chapter.  1075 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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