• Geographical context of forgotten amphibians: Colombian "Data Deficient species" sensu IUCN

      Román Palacios, Cristian; Valencia Zuleta, Alejandro; Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol (REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA TROPICAL, 2018-07-04)
      Whereas more than 10% of global amphibian richness is known to occur in Colombia, almost 16% of these species are currently classified as Data Deficient according to the IUCN. These estimates suggest that the available data for a large portion of amphibians occurring in Colombia is insufficient to assess extinction risk. Here we aim to (1) review the available information on the distribution of the Colombian Data Deficient (DD hereafter) amphibians, (2) analyze their geographic distribution, and (3) evaluate the relationship between anthropogenic impact and their current conservation status. For this, we first compiled geographical records for the DD amphibian species using primary sources. Geographical records were obtained mainly from taxonomic descriptions and non-systematic surveys. We then estimated the geographical range and inferred the potential distribution for each species using letsR and MaxEnt, respectively. We quantified the human footprint for each species and tested the relationship between spatial distribution and anthropogenic change across populations. Analyses are here based on 128 of the 129 DD amphibian species that occur in Colombia. We found that most of these species were recently described and have small geographic ranges. A large proportion of these DD amphibians inhabit the Colombian Andes, and their populations have been strongly affected by human activities. Overall, the spatial clustering suggests that many of these species have faced similar environmental and anthropogenic pressures that have contributed to their rareness. We also suggest that the conservation status for several of the analyzed DD amphibians should be changed to account for the threats they face.
    • Mexico's Biocultural Diversity in Peril

      Vidal, Omar; Brusca, Richard C.; Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol (REVISTA DE BIOLOGIA TROPICAL, 2020)
      Introduction: Places with high species diversity have high linguistic diversity, whereas areas with low species diversity tend to have low linguistic diversity. Objective: To characterize the intriguing relationship between biological and cultural diversity, a correlation that has been discussed at a global scale, but here tested for the first time in Mexico. Methods: We compiled exhaustive databases on both endangered species and endangered languages, and reviewed available literature on Mexico's biocultural diversity with a focus on endangered and critically endangered species and languages. Results: With 364 living languages, Mexico is the world's filth most linguistically diverse country, but 64 of these languages are facing a very high risk of disappearance and 13 have already disappeared. Mexico is also the fourth most biologically diverse country, but 1 213 species of its flora and fauna are threatened with extinction and at least 127 species were recently extinct. Conclusions: Indigenous peoples are custodians of much of the world's biocultural diversity. As the world grows less linguistically and culturally diverse, it is also becoming less biologically diverse. Mexico's biological and linguistic diversity show strong geographic overlap, with the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Michoacan harboring most species and most languages. Similarly, Mexico's biodiversity hotspots mirror language hotspots, and areas with the highest number of endangered species overlap with areas where the endangerment of languages is also the highest.