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Alien predators and amphibian declines: review of two decades of science and the transition to conservation

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Over the last two decades, numerous studies have shown that alien predators contributed to amphibian population declines. Both experimental studies and correlative field surveys implicated alien species of fish, bullfrogs and crayfish as major contributors to amphibian population decline, and in some instances local extinction. Additional studies have demonstrated that alien predators also caused long-term changes in aquatic communities. Recent studies have examined the feasibility of removing alien predators, and provide some evidence that amphibian populations can recover. Applying information gained from past studies to the recovery of amphibian populations will be the challenge of future studies. International, national and local policies that regulate alien predators should be based largely on the body of scientific evidence already in the literature. Scientists need to be more involved with policy-makers to most effectively change laws that regulate alien predators.

Keywords: Amphibian decline; alien predators; biological invasions; conservation; declining amphibian populations

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Natural Science Division, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263, U.S.A., Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2003


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