Potential effect of habitat disturbance on reproduction of the critically endangered harlequin frog Atelopus varius in Las Tablas, Costa Rica

Gómez–Hoyos, D. A.  Seisdedos–de–Vergara, R.  Schipper, J.  Allard, R.  González–Maya, J. F. 

DOI: https://doi. org/10.32800/abc.2020.43.0001

Abstract

We studied a population of Atelopus varius in Las Tablas Protected Zone in southwest Costa Rica, where we estimated occupancy rates of tadpoles along the Cotón River. In addition, we report the first tadpoles observed in the wild in 20 years. Tadpole rate of occupancy was greater in habitat containing native forest than in disturbed areas bordering cattle pasture. This same pattern was also reflected in adult hotspots, where encounter rates were higher for adults in habitat surrounded by forest versus pasture. We present evidence for the potential effect of habitat modification on the presence and reproduction of A. varius and suspect that over time this modification impacts the species’ demography. However, further study is necessary before we can confirm that habitat change alone was the key factor involved in patterns of decline for the species.

Key words

Habitat disturbance, Hotspots, Occupancy, Tadpoles, Threats

Reception date: 23 IX 17  |   Acceptation date: 03 VII 19  |   Publication date: 03 I 20

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Índex de Volume 43.1 (2020)

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