The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 04. Dark future for a black salamander: effects of climate change and conservation implications for an endemic alpine amphibian


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pp. 35-47

Authors: Davide Giuliano, Daniele Seglie, Paolo Eusebio Bergò, Riccardo Cavalcante, Marco Favelli, Bruno Aimone Gigio, Alain Bloc, Anna Gaggino, Matteo Massara, Alessandra Pucci, Marco Rastelli, Claude Miaud & Barbara Rizzioli

Abstract: Climate change is threatening several montane species across the world, including a large number of endemics, needing the development of forward-looking conservation strategies to foster their future survival. In this context, Species Distribution Models (SDMs) represent a useful method to forecast changes in species’ habitat suitability under different scenarios of global warming, often advising conservation frameworks with credible, defensible and repeatable information. In this paper, we estimate the environmental and bioclimatic suitability for an endemic mountain amphibian (Salamandra lanzai) in the western European Alps through an SDM approach, considering both current and future scenarios, to address short- and long-term management and conservation actions, and to update the current IUCN extinction risk assessment. The ensemble model forecasts predict a dramatic decline of the climatically suitable area for the Lanza’s alpine salamander in the next 20–40 years, even considering an optimistic CO2 emissions scenario, leading to a theoretical extinction of this species in 2100 in case the worst global warming prediction will be actualised. This underlines the urgent need for up-to-date conservation and management strategies to ensure the successful mitigation of climate change effects on S. lanzai, especially by adapting and improving the network of protected areas, immediately removing additional threats and identifying possible management actions able to increase fine-scale habitat suitability and connectivity among populations. In addition, a significant range contraction in the future has to be considered when assessing the extinction risk for this species, possibly exacerbating the effect of other threatening factors, such as the spread of lethal pathogens.

Keywords: Salamandra lanzai, ensemble models, environmental suitability, bioclimatic suitability, future projections

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.