Climate Adaptation to Support Amphibian Conservation in U.S. Caribbean
Climate change will strongly affect tropical island ecosystems. The risks of significant negative impacts are likely to be higher in these island systems than in many temperate regions of the world because of the limited size of their land masses, high numbers of species that only exist in narrowly defined regions, and expectations that tropical environments will experience more impactful changes in temperature. Since 2013 we have developed an ongoing multi-disciplinary and collaborative project aimed at gaining foundational knowledge to build a robust, climate-informed adaptation strategy to enhance the status of 2 endangered species and prevent the listing of 14 species in the genus Eleutherodactylus, commonly known as the “coqui”.
Our focus for the conservation strategy is consideration and evaluation of two classes of adaptation actions:
- translocations or introductions and
- targeted use of climate refugia.
This work represents a potential ‘gold standard’ of CASC-supported adaptation science. Rather than a ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’ approach to adaptation science, we have consistently engaged in a ‘middle-out’ strategy, enhancing value for resource managers through actionable scientific knowledge and insights, while also leading with new research that is broad enough in scope to be useful to a wide array of stakeholders.