Zoological Studies

Vol. 56, 2017

(update: 2017.9.18; 10.03)

Invasive American Bullfrogs and African Clawed Frogs in South America: High Suitability of Occurrence in Biodiversity Hotspots

Fabiana G. Barbosa1,*, Camila Both2, and Miguel B. Araújo1,3

1Departmento de Biogeografía y Cambio Global, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, 28006, Madrid, Spain
2Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Avenida Roraima, 1000, 97105-9000, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
3Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

(Received 14 June 2017; Accepted 10 September 2017; Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan)

Fabiana G. Barbosa, Camila Both, and Miguel B. Araújo (2017) Invasion of protected areas by non-native species is currently one of the main threats to global biodiversity. Using an ensemble of bioclimatic envelope models we quantify the degree of exposure of South American protected areas to invasion by two invasive amphibian species. We focus on protected areas that coincide with global biodiversity hotspots. The species modeled, Lithobates catesbeianus and Xenopus laevis,have been reported to threaten local faunas in several non-native areas that they invaded, including areas in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. We show that 87.5% of the protected areas within the Atlantic Forest may be most at risk of invasion by L. catesbeianus and X. laevis under current climate conditions, followed by areas in the Cerrado (51.7), Tropical Andes (37.6%), Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena (22.5%), and Chilean Winter Rainfall and Valdivian Forests (20.5%). Conservation plans for these regions should, therefore, consider latent threats from multiple sources including invasion by highly competitive non-native species such as the ones modeled in our study.

Key words: Biological invasions, Bioclimatic envelope models, Lithobates catesbeianus, Protected areas, Xenopus laevis.

Correspondence: E-mail: fabibarbos@gmail.com