CONSERVATION AND SYSTEMATICS OF HAITIAN FROGS OF THE GENUS ELEUTHERODACTYLUS

Open Access
Author:
Liguori , Alyssa Rose
Area of Honors:
Biology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Blair Hedges, Thesis Supervisor
  • S Blair Hedges, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stephen Wade Schaeffer, Faculty Reader
  • S Blair Hedges, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Eleutherodactylus
  • Conservation
  • Systematics
Abstract:
Haiti is one of the hottest biodiversity hot spots in the world with 63 native amphibian species and only 1 per cent of forest cover remaining. Stringent enforcement of protected lands needs to be prioritized with a synchronous effort to alleviate poverty, reduce the fertility rate, and replace the current source of cooking fuel, charcoal, with another energy source that does not consume natural forests. This study examined 158 specimens of 21 species from three subgenera of terrestrial breeding frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus. Phylogenetic analysis resulted in the presumed identification of eight additional species of which seven exist in Haiti. Extrapolation of results, only from the species of which sample size was five or greater, suggests that only slightly more than a half of all frog species in Haiti have been described and that there are at least 49 endemic, undiscovered species of Eleutherodactylus in Haiti. This suggests that there is an unclassified biodiversity still in existence today on Hispaniola and highlights the urgent need for conservation measures and increased systematic research in this region.