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Distribution and Conservation Status of the Hyrcanian Wood Frog (Rana pseudodalmatina) in Azerbaijan

Artem Aleksandrovich Kidov, Spartak Nikolaevich Litvinchuk


In Azerbaijan, the Hyrcanian wood frog (Rana pseudodalmatina) usually inhabits forests in the Talysh Mountains and the Lenkoran Lowland from –28 to 2265 m above sea level. Drier regions to the north and west of the Talysh Mountains limit the species distribution. The species can locally penetrate to a no forested zone in the northern and western foothills of the Talysh Mountains and the Zuvand Desert. In order to study the distribution and estimate ecological preferences of the species, we applied MaxEnt using 98 localities from Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan. The range of the species covers mainly pre-Caspian slopes of the Talysh and Alborz ridges. Of the parameters included in the model, the precipitation of driest month and the habitat homogeneity (index related to vegetation types) were variables with highest percentage contributions. Based on our data, in Azerbaijan R. pseudodalmatina is very common species in most places and in some localities is the most numerous amphibian species. The frog does not avoid human-transformed biotopes. The main factors influenced on a local declining of R. pseudodalmatina are the introduction of fishes (including invasive) and the common raccoon, destruction and contamination of suitable breeding water bodies. The most suitable method of conservation of the frog is construction of new ponds for their reproduction and wintering.


Amphibia; Ranidae; distribution model; MaxEnt; Talysh

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