Is the painted frog Discoglossus pictus a declining species in Italy? On the reliability of a distributional atlas approach

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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The conservation status of amphibians is often assessed using public databases because of a lack of up-to-date field data. However, it is crucial that this kind of data is used carefully, evaluating the reliability and the consistency of the information. In Italy, the conservation status of the painted frog, Discoglossus pictus, was recently assessed using public databases, and the outcome highlighted a worrying situation for the species. We analyzed the reliability of these conclusions and reassessed the status of the painted frog, taking into account its insular distribution and new data of species occurrence. Our results contrast with the previous analysis and show how an incautious use of public databases can lead to inaccurate assessment of the amphibian conservation status.

Is the painted frog Discoglossus pictus a declining species in Italy? On the reliability of a distributional atlas approach

in Amphibia-Reptilia

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Figures

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    Distribution of Year of last observation in the amphibian CKmap database for the whole Italy of (a) and Sicily (b).

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    Variation in the estimated decline of Discoglossus pictus as a function of threshold year (from 1983 to 1998).

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    Italian distribution of Discoglossus pictus. Circles: occurrence confirmed after 1985 using CKmap database. Triangles: original new occurrence data (2008-2012). Triangles with white circle: recently published presence data (2010). Crosses: unconfirmed historical occurrence using CKmap database (before 1985).

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