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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by three Small Grants for Science and Conservation in 2014, 2015 and 2016 from The Biodiversity Foundation to Amaël Borzée. The project was also funded by a Research Grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (#2017R1A2B2003579) and a research Grant from National Geographic Asia (# 2-2016-1632-001-1) to Yikweon Jang. There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2017 Borzée et al.
- Dryophytes suweonensis
- Ecological preferences
- Hylid, Korea
- Land reclamation
- Protected area