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Captive Breeding and Reintroduction of Amphibians as a Conservation Tool. A thesis submitted for the degree of MSc in Biodiversity Management by Research

Harding, Gemma (2021) Captive Breeding and Reintroduction of Amphibians as a Conservation Tool. A thesis submitted for the degree of MSc in Biodiversity Management by Research. Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent. (KAR id:87105)

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Abstract

Recent figures show that over 30% of the world’s amphibian species are considered to be threatened with extinction. As the current escalation in extinctions continue the number of species going into captive breeding programmes is likely to increase. The Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) states that captive assurance colonies are the only hope for species at immediate risk of extinction. This study reviewed current amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programmes to identify increases in programmes and changes in terms of threats, geographical regions and species status since the publication of the ACAP in 2007. A 30% increase in conservation breeding programmes has been observed since the ACAP. A significant increase was seen in species within programmes in Latin America with more than 60% of the programmes identified being from South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The numbers of Least Concern species in captive programmes have declined since the ACAP, while Critically Endangered species increased by 20%. Habitat loss remained the largest threat to species within these programmes. These factors indicate that the ex situ recommendations made within the ACAP are beginning to influence the types of conservation methods being used to combat amphibian declines. Sixty-two amphibian reintroduction programmes were assessed against ten reintroduction criteria in order to understand how compliant they are with current guidelines. All species in programmes were of conservation importance locally, regionally or globally, so complied with the criterion relating to threats. However, fewer programmes met the criteria relating to the establishment of viable populations and adequate resources. Reintroduction programmes of longer duration and higher success were shown to meet reintroduction criteria more completely indicating that a programme needs to run for around 15 years or more in order to show a high level of success. Key measures to help ensure ex situ conservation is carried out for the right reasons and to the highest standard are identified. These include implementing conservation management through evidence-based theory and undertaking reintroductions in line with published criteria and recommendations.

Keywords: translocation, amphibian decline, frog, toad, ex situ conservation, captive assurance, guidelines.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Gemma Harding
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2021 10:47 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2021 11:41 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/87105 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Harding, Gemma: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9145-6481
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