Current threats faced by amphibian populations in the southern cone of South America

Federico Pablo Kacoliris, Igor Berkunsky, Juan Carlos Acosta, Rodrigo Acosta, María Gabriela Agostini, Mauricio Sebastián Akmentins, María Luz Arellano, Claudio Azat, Nadia Carla Bach, Graciela Mirta Blanco, Rodrigo Calvo, Andrés Charrier, Valeria Corbalán, Claudio Correa, María Elena Cuello, Camila Deutsch, Diego Di-Pietro, María Soledad Gastón, Rodrigo Gómez-Alés, Camila KassNicolás Kass, Gabriel Lobos, Tomás Agustín Martínez, Tomás Martínez-Aguirre, Marta Mora, Rodrigo Nieva-Cocilio, Hernán Pastore, Juan Manuel Pérez-Iglesias, Lía Piaggio-Kokot, Felipe Rabanal, Melina Jesús Rodriguez-Muñoz, Laura Cecilia Sanchez, Charif Tala, Carmen Úbeda, Marcos Vaira, Melina Alicia Velasco, Marcela Vidal, Jorge Daniel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, we update and increase knowledge on the severity and extent of threats affecting 57 populations of 46 amphibian species from Chile and Argentina in southern South America. We analyzed the intrinsic conservation problems that directly impact these populations. We shared a questionnaire among specialists on threats affecting target amphibian populations with information on i) range, ii) historical occurrence and abundance, iii) population trends, iv) local extinctions, v) threats, and vi) ongoing and necessary conservation/research. We assessed association patterns between reported threats and population trends using multiple correspondence analysis. Since 2010, 25 of 57 populations have declined, while 16 experienced local extinctions. These populations were affected by 81% of the threat categories analyzed, with those related to agricultural activities and/or habitat modifications being the most frequently reported. Invasive species, emerging diseases, and activities related to grazing, ranching, or farming were the threats most associated with population declines. Low connectivity was the most frequent intrinsic conservation problem affecting 68% of the target populations, followed by low population numbers, affecting 60%. Ongoing monitoring activity was conducted in 32 (56%) populations and was the most frequent research activity. Threat mitigation was reported in 27 (47%) populations and was the most frequent ongoing management activity. We found that habitat management is ongoing in 5 (9%) populations. At least 44% of the amphibian populations surveyed in Chile and Argentina are declining. More information related to the effect of management actions to restore habitats, recover populations, and eliminate threats such as invasive species is urgently needed to reverse the conservation crisis facing amphibians in this Neotropical region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126254
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Amphibian conservation
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Declining populations
  • Threats to biodiversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'Current threats faced by amphibian populations in the southern cone of South America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this