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Evidence-Based Amphibian Conservation: A Case Study on Toad Tunnels


Schmidt, Benedikt R; Brenneisen, Stephan; Zumbach, Silvia (2020). Evidence-Based Amphibian Conservation: A Case Study on Toad Tunnels. Herpetologica, 76(2):228-239.

Abstract

Although the search for the drivers of amphibian declines continues, there is a need to implement conservation actions. Conservation science usually does not deliver clear answers about which conservation actions are most effective and which ones should be implemented. Furthermore, results often cannot be used directly by conservationists. Given that resources are limited, there is a need to know which conservation actions and management interventions are most likely to succeed. The goal of evidence-based conservation is to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions qualitatively and quantitatively, and comparative effectiveness studies are a powerful tool to evaluate different conservation actions. We use a case study on toad tunnels to discuss the benefits and limitations of comparative effectiveness studies. Although we show that wider tunnels are used by a higher proportion of individuals, the strength of evidence for effects of other characteristics of amphibian tunnels on tunnel use was weak. Despite some equivocal results, our case study illustrates that the approach can readily be used to study the effectiveness of conservation actions and to derive recommendations for conservationists and managers that can be used directly to improve future conservation interventions.

Abstract

Although the search for the drivers of amphibian declines continues, there is a need to implement conservation actions. Conservation science usually does not deliver clear answers about which conservation actions are most effective and which ones should be implemented. Furthermore, results often cannot be used directly by conservationists. Given that resources are limited, there is a need to know which conservation actions and management interventions are most likely to succeed. The goal of evidence-based conservation is to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions qualitatively and quantitatively, and comparative effectiveness studies are a powerful tool to evaluate different conservation actions. We use a case study on toad tunnels to discuss the benefits and limitations of comparative effectiveness studies. Although we show that wider tunnels are used by a higher proportion of individuals, the strength of evidence for effects of other characteristics of amphibian tunnels on tunnel use was weak. Despite some equivocal results, our case study illustrates that the approach can readily be used to study the effectiveness of conservation actions and to derive recommendations for conservationists and managers that can be used directly to improve future conservation interventions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, conservation, evidence, population, toad tunnel, underpass, behaviour
Language:English
Date:23 June 2020
Deposited On:29 Jun 2020 06:37
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 15:20
Publisher:Herpetologists League
ISSN:0018-0831
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1655/0018-0831-76.2.228

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