Population Recovery following Decline in an Endangered Stream-Breeding Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) from Subtropical Australia

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Abstract

Amphibians have undergone dramatic declines and extinctions worldwide. Prominent among these have been the stream-breeding frogs in the rainforests of eastern Australia. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been postulated as the primary cause of these declines. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture study over a 7-year period on the endangered Fleay's barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) at two independent streams (30 km apart) in order to assess the stability of these populations. This species had undergone a severe decline across its narrow geographic range. Mark-recapture modelling showed that the number of individuals increased 3-10 fold along stream transects over this period. Frog detection probabilities were frequently above 50% but declined as the populations increased. Adult survival was important to overall population persistence in light of low recruitment events, suggesting that longevity may be a key factor in this recovery. One male and female were present in the capture record for >6 years. This study provides an unambiguous example of population recovery in the presence of Bd. © 2013 Newell et al.

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Newell, D. A., Goldingay, R. L., & Brooks, L. O. (2013). Population Recovery following Decline in an Endangered Stream-Breeding Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) from Subtropical Australia. PLoS ONE, 8(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0058559

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