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Seoul, Keep Your Paddies! Implications for the Conservation of Hylid Species

  • Borzee, Amael ;
  • Ahn, Jaeha ;
  • Kim, Sanha ;
  • Heo, Kyongman ;
  • Jang, Yikweon
  • Received : 2015.05.05
  • Accepted : 2015.07.04
  • Published : 2015.07.31

Abstract

Biodiversity is plummeting worldwide, and the major causes of such decline include habitat degradation and climate change. While cities do contribute to the negative impact to the environment, they can also serve as strategic centres for conservation programs. Sites qualifying as biogeographic islands within metropolitan Seoul were studied for the occurrence of two hylid species: the endangered Hyla suweonensis and the abundant H. japonica. This study demonstrates that neither habitat diversity nor surface area, but solely the occurrence of aggregated rice paddies is a requisite for H. suweonensis, hypothetically due to its strict breeding requirements. On the contrary, H. japonica occurrence was not affected by any of these factors, and all types of habitats studied were adequate for this species. The presence of an endangered species within the boundaries of one of the most populated metropolises suggests a strong natural resilience, which should be enhanced with appropriate actions. We emphasize that the management plans therein can, and should, be used as the first step in the conservation of H. suweonensis in metropolitan Seoul.

Keywords

biogeographic islands;conservation;city of Seoul;Hyla suweonensis

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