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1 June 2013 Threatened Amphibians and Their Conservation Status within the Protected Area Network in Northeastern Brazil
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Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate group in the world. One of the conservation strategies most used to preserve threatened species is the establishment of protected areas. We used gap analysis to evaluate whether or not the protected area network of northeastern Brazil safeguards populations of threatened amphibians that occur in this region. Data on species geographical ranges were obtained from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and were overlapped on the northeastern Brazilian protected area network using ArcGIS 9.3. The threatened amphibians found in northeastern Brazil were represented by remnant populations of Adelophryne baturitensis, Adelophryne maranguapensis, Allobates olfersioides, and Agalychnis granulosa. There are 174 protected areas in the protected area network in northeastern Brazil. The network is made up of 65 strict protection areas (IUCN categories I–II) and 109 sustainable use areas (IUCN categories III–VI). The network corresponds to more than 15 million ha, which equates to about 10% of the region's total area. However, the size of the protected areas along the geographical range of these species doesn't necessarily guarantee their persistence in the future. The main threat to these species is loss of habitat due to deforestation and agricultural expansion. Therefore, the viability of new reserves with a diversity of representative ecosystems in northeastern Brazil may be the best solution to avoid extinction processes in this region.

Felipe S. Campos, Daniel Brito, and Mirco Solé "Threatened Amphibians and Their Conservation Status within the Protected Area Network in Northeastern Brazil," Journal of Herpetology 47(2), 277-285, (1 June 2013).
Accepted: 1 June 2012; Published: 1 June 2013

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