Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Mismatch between conservation status and climate change sensitivity leaves some anurans in the United States unprotected

December 26, 2022

Species vulnerable to climate change face increased extinction risk, but many sensitive species may be overlooked due to limited data and exclusion from vulnerability assessments. Intrinsic sensitivity, or the inherent risk of species to environmental change due to biological factors, can be assessed with widely available data and may address gaps in multispecies vulnerability assessments. Species that exist in few places (geographically rare) and in fewer climates (smaller realized climate niche breadth) have high intrinsic sensitivity to environmental change. Using point occurrences, we systematically evaluated intrinsic sensitivity based on geographic rarity and realized climate niche breadth for 90 species of frogs and toads native to the United States using over 140 000 occurrence records. To compare sensitivity to perceived extinction risk, we compared intrinsic sensitivity to conservation status at state, federal, and international levels. We found no relationship between intrinsic sensitivity and federal or state conservation status, with some intrinsically sensitive species (i.e., those with small areas of occurrence and narrow climate specificity) not listed as at-risk at any level. Intrinsic sensitivity analysis can serve as an early warning system for species that may be currently at-risk and overlooked.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2023
Title Mismatch between conservation status and climate change sensitivity leaves some anurans in the United States unprotected
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109866
Authors Traci P. DuBose, Chloe E. Moore, Samuel Silknetter, Abigail Benson, Tess Alexander, Grace O'Malley, Meryl C. Mims
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Biological Conservation
Index ID 70239081
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Science Analytics and Synthesis