Impact of land reclamation and agricultural water regime on the distribution and conservation status of the endangered Dryophytes suweonensis

Amaël Borzëe, Kyungmin Kim, Kyongman Heo, Piotr G. Jablonski, Yikweon Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Knowledge about the distribution and habitat preferences of a species is critical for its conservation. The Suweon Treefrog (Dryophytes suweonensis) is an endangered species endemic to the Republic of Korea. We conducted surveys from 2014 to 2016 at 890 potentially suitable sites across the entire range of the species in South Korea. We then assessed whether D. suweonensis was found in the current and ancestral predicted ranges, reclaimed and protected areas, and how the presence of agricultural floodwater affected its occurrence. Our results describe a 120 km increase in the southernmost known distribution of the species, and the absence of the species at lower latitudes. We then demonstrate a putative constriction on the species ancestral range due to urban encroachment, and provide evidence for a significant increase in its coastal range due to the colonisation of reclaimed land by the species. In addition, we demonstrate that D. suweonensis is present in rice fields that are flooded with water originating from rivers as opposed to being present in rice fields that are irrigated from underground water. Finally, the non-overlap of protected areas and the occurrence of the species shows that only the edge of a single site where D. suweonensis occurs is legally protected. Based on our results and the literature, we suggest the design of a site fitting all the ecological requirements of the species, and suggest the use of such sites to prevent further erosion in the range of D. suweonensis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3872
JournalPeerJ
Volume2017
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Dryophytes suweonensis
  • Ecological preferences
  • Hylid, Korea
  • Land reclamation
  • Protected area
  • Range

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