There has been much concern about widespread declines among amphibians, but efforts to determine the extent and magnitude of these declines have been hampered by scarcity of comparative inventory data. We resurveyed a transect of the Sierra Nevada mountains in western North America that was carefully studied in the early 1900s. Our comparisons show that at least five of the seven frog and toad species in the area have suffered serious declines. One species has disappeared from the area entirely and a second species, formerly the most abundant amphibian in the area, has dwindled to a few small remnant populations. These declines have occurred in a relatively undisturbed, protected area and show some of the same patterns noted in other reports of amphibian declines. Introduced predatory fish, possibly interacting with drought‐induced loss of refuge habitats, have contributed to the decline of some species. However, the overall cause of these dramatic losses remains unknown.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1996
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