Providing evidence to improve practice

The journal, Conservation Evidence

Our online journal publishes research, monitoring results and case studies on the effects of conservation interventions. All papers include some monitoring of the effects of the intervention and are written by, or in partnership with, those who did the conservation work. It includes interventions such as habitat creation, habitat restoration, translocations, reintroductions, invasive species control, and education or integrated conservation development programmes, from anywhere around the world.

Watch a brief video on our journal here

A volume is created each year with peer-reviewed papers published throughout the year. We now accept Short Communications as well as standard papers.

Special issues contain new papers on a specific topic.

Virtual collections collate papers published in the journal on specific topics such as management of particular groups of species.

To search for papers on a specific topic within the journal select 'Advanced search' on the Home page, enter your keyword(s) and within the Source box type: "conservation evidence".

Amphibian Special Issue



Making amphibian conservation more effective
Meredith H.M.R., Van Buren C. & Antwis R.E. (2016), 13, 1-5

Amphibians face an extinction crisis. Hundreds of species may be lost as conservation scientists and practitioners struggle to identify remedies to poorly understood declines spanning several decades. Due to various life history characteristics and a range of drivers, amphibians continue to be especially hard-hit, more so than any other vertebrate group. In this special issue of Conservation Evidence, studies that report the effectiveness of amphibian conservation interventions are presented to add to the rapidly growing body of literature on this topic. We here summarise the current understanding of global amphibian declines to highlight the importance of applying evidence-based strategies to amphibian conservation.

 

Relocation of Puerto Rican cave dwelling frogs Eleutherodactylus cooki into natural and artificial habitats
López-Torres A.L., Rodríguez-Gómez C.A. & Salguero-Faría J.A. (2016), 13, 6-6

We report the results of capturing and relocating 403 Eleutherodactylus cooki frogs. The frequency of recovery of translocated individuals was similar in natural and artificial habitats.

Captive-rearing state endangered crawfish frogs Lithobates areolatus from Indiana, USA
Stiles R.M., Sieggreen M.J., Johnson R.A., Pratt K., Vassallo M., Andrus M., Perry M., Swan J.W. & Lannoo M.J. (2016), 13, 7-11

Crawfish frogs Lithobates areolatus inhabit the tallgrass prairie of the southeastern Great Plains and Mississippi Delta, and have recently been considered for US federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Here we attempt to determine the feasibility of head-starting crawfish frog tadpoles, and establish captive-rearing protocols. Captive-rearing produced more juveniles from fewer egg masses than a natural wetland in each year from 2013–2015, and survivorship of captive-reared tadpoles exceeded that of wild tadpoles. However, high rates of malformations, partial cannibalism, disease, and predation were seen among frogs in some years, and we therefore refined protocols to reduce these issues.

 

The spread of non-native invasive species is among the factors thought to be responsible for the recent global declines in amphibian populations.  In a Protected Natural Area of Local Interest in Tuscany, Italy, we tested approaches for preserving the local amphibian populations threatened by the presence of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The construction of artificial breeding ponds, with suitable vertical barriers, was initially effective in preventing the spread of the red swamp crayfish and created a source site for amphibians, in particular newt species. Unfortunately, five years after construction, the breeding sites were colonized by fish and crayfish, possibly due to the actions of members of the public.

 

A five year control programme of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis resulted in improved population demographics in the Cape platanna Xenopus gilli in comparison to a population without removal.

In Denmark, nature conservation in the middle of the twentieth century mainly involved protecting areas by legal declarations forbidding the destruction or degradation of the protected area. During the period 1946 to 1969, 22 sites with fire-bellied toads Bombina bombina were protected as single ponds, and 40 ponds with Bombina were protected as a part of larger protected landscapes. We evaluate the survival of Bombina populations in these protected ponds compared to 51 control ponds where Bombina was recorded in 1940-1955, but which were not protected. In all cases, survival of Bombina was low, and although protection may have delayed extinction, there is no clear evidence that it prevented extinction. There was a trend for better outcomes in the larger protected landscapes, but this may have been due to other causes, such as more cattle grazing. It is concluded that passive protection (legal protection without active management) is not effective, whereas the type of active approach that has been used increasingly since 1982 is more promising.