New records and a revision of the actual and potential distribution of Discoglossus montalentii to facilitate future conservation assessments

2020-01-21T12:36:33Z (GMT) by Wouter Beukema Giacomo Bruni

The Corsican Painted Frog Discoglossus montalentii has received little research attention since its discovery, which creates uncertainty about its distribution and conservation status. We here use a combination of field surveys, ecological niche modelling (ENM) and niche overlap analyses to (i) update the D. montalentii distribution; (ii) determine its potential range, and (iii) assess if presence of Discoglossus sardus influences that of D. montalentii. Our surveys reveal presence of D. montalentii at low and mid-altitudes throughout Cap Corse and near the north-western coast, while ENMs suggest that similar climatically and topographically suitable habitats occur beyond the confirmed range in northern- and westernmost Corsica. No evidence for competitive exclusion by D. sardus was found, with both species displaying broad niche overlap at macroscale. Whether potential differences between these species do exist at microhabitat level remains worth exploring. We finally review the conservation status of D. montalentii, and assemble practical knowledge to inform future conservation assessments.