Rewilding a vanishing taxon – Restoring aquatic ecosystems using amphibians

Elsevier, Biological Conservation, Volume 292, April 2024
Stark G., Schwarz R.

The increasing rate of biodiversity loss and the number of threatened or endangered species worldwide has accelerated conservation and recovery strategies, emphasising fish, birds, and mammals. This focus has mostly neglected amphibians, which are currently facing the most existential crisis among all vertebrates, with declining populations across most habitats. The factors driving global amphibian declines are diverse, often synergistic, and predominantly anthropogenic. Amphibians urgently require rapid conservation action, and we cannot afford to wait while the most important critical elements required to initiate effective recovery efforts are known. We recommend the rapid (re)introduction of this “forgotten” taxon via the guidelines of trophic rewilding. Amphibian rewilding initiatives may provide early indications of ecological health and better contribute to conservation goals, by simultaneously protecting highly endangered species, and promoting ecological stability in these species ecosystems.