Environment

Native Amphibians Of Chile

Chile's amphibian biodiversity includes many rare, endemic, and endangered species of frogs and toads.

The country of Chile is located in the southwestern portion of the South American continent, with a long, narrow shoreline that stretches north-to-south along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This article will discuss the native amphibians in Chile, some of which are endemic to the country and many of whom are endangered or worse.

Bullock's Mountain False Toad

The Bullock's Mountain False Toad, scientific name Telmatobufo bullocki, is a species of frog that is a member of the Calyptocephalellidae Family of toads. The toad is only found in Chile. This species habitat is in fast-flowing streams in the temperate Nothofagus forest. This species is endemic to Chile, meaning that it is only found in the country. This species is only found along the coastal range of the Nahuelbuta National Park in the Arauco Province. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List the Bullock's Mountain False Toad has been listed as a critically endangered species since 2006 and it current population trend is unknown. The major threat that this extremely rare species faces is from the clear cutting and afforestation of pine plantations in the area in and around their habitat. This cutting causes siltation, in which the water of steams becomes dirty as a result of fine mineral particles, which makes it much harder for the larvae of the species to feed.

Pehuenche Spiny-Chest Frog

The Pehuenche Spiny-Chest Frog, scientific name Alsodes pehuenche, is a species of frog that is a member of the Alsodidae Family of frogs which are only found in the southern area of South America. This species habitat mostly in the galleries inside of small permanent snow melt steams that are located on stony banks covered in vegetation. They also can be found in swamps or pounds that are derived from snow melt. This species is only found in six streams in the Pehuenche Valley in the Mendoza Province of Argentina, which sits close to the border with Chile. The species is likely in Chile, but so far there has been only one known photographic record of the species in the country since it is very rare. According to the IUCN Red List the Pehuenche Spiny-Chest Frog has been listed as a critically endangered species since 2012 and it current population trend is decreasing. The major threat that this species face is from paving work done on road as this has caused the streams the species lives in to dry up, leading to mortality. The paved roads are also a threat to potentially affect the water quality of the streams and it is also possible that contaminant particles from cars on the road or that salt used to melt snow could affect the water quality. The quality of the streams can also be affected by tourists who leave plastics or other items in the streams.

Conservation of Amphibians in Chile

There are a number of efforts being made to help conserve the native amphibians that are found in Chile. The Bullock's Mountain False Toad is found in the Nahuelbuta National Park and there are other amphibian species that also are found in national parks and protected areas in Chile. For the Pehuenche Spiny-Chest Frog a monitoring program has been set up to monitor and control the water quality of the streams that the species is found in.

Native Amphibians of ChileScientific Name
Chile Darwin's FrogRhinoderma rufum
Chilean Helmeted Water ToadCalyptocephalella gayi
Island Spiny-Chest FrogAlsodes monticola
Bullock's Mountain False ToadTelmatobufo bullocki
Chiloe Island Ground FrogEupsophus calcaratus
Red-Spotted ToadRhinella rubropunctata
Eden Harbor Patagonian ToadNannophryne variegata
Large Four-Eyed FrogPleurodema bufoninum
Black Spiny-Chest FrogAlsodes nodosus
Pehuenche Spiny-Chest FrogAlsodes pehuenche

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