Abstract

Peru hosts a rich amphibian fauna with approximately 571 species described to date. Many of these species have been formally described only recently, and many more remain to be discovered and recognized. Despite the increase in the number of known species, some reports indicate recent, and in some cases enigmatic, loss of species richness at several sites in the Peruvian Andes. Similar population declines have been observed in neighboring Andean countries. The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is associated with some of these declines, and we include a timeline of records of this pathogen in Peruvian amphibians. However, the paucity of standardized, long-term surveys limits our ability to understand the causes of declines and to assess the conservation status of Peruvian amphibians. Here we provide updated information on the conservation status of amphibians in Peru, and we discuss the possible causes of the observed declines. Furthermore, we discuss present and future threats to amphibian biodiversity, and we outline actions needed to promote the survival of this globally endangered group. We include a list of candidate sites for long-term surveys.

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