HONOLULU, HI — UH Manoa professors Prof. Robert Thomson and Prof. Amber Wright, in conjunction with Prof. Bradley Shaffer, have produced a book detailing knowledge about the conservation of sensitive amphibian and reptile species in California. The book is entitled “California Amphibian and Reptile Species of Special Concern”, provides details not only about the threats that these species face, but how these species could possibly be saved from extinction in the future. It seeks to highlight the California area as one of high biological diversity, while also displaying the importance of climate/habitat conservation.
One of the most important hotspots of herpetological biodiversity in the United States, California is home to many endemic amphibians and reptiles found nowhere else on earth. Many of these taxa have unique ecological and morphological specializations, and their management is an important conservation challenge. Increasing climate change impacts, human development, and extreme drought mean many of these species face an ever-greater risk of extinction.
California Amphibian and Reptile Species of Special Concern provides an up-to-date synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding the biology and conservation risks faced by 45 of California’s most sensitive amphibian and reptile species. With the goal of enhancing management based on the best available science, the authors developed a novel set of risk metrics to identify special concern species and the threats they face, including population declines, range size and restrictions, and ecological specializations and niche restrictions. In addition to detailed species accounts, this book provides a quantitative analysis of the conservation status and pressing management issues facing individual species and the state’s amphibian and reptile fauna as a whole. The volume focuses on identifying threats, concrete recommendations for management and recovery, and future research needs. The text is complemented by detailed distribution maps, color photos, and graphs.
Written in nontechnical language, California Amphibian and Reptile Species of Special Concern will be a valuable resource to a broad range of users from resource managers, field biologists, and academic herpetologists to students and recreational naturalists.
Published in association with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.