Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Eradication of introduced fish allows successful recovery of a stream-dwelling amphibian.

Abstract

Introduction of alien fish is a major problem for the conservation of amphibians inhabiting originally fishless mountain streams. While fish eradication programs in lakes and ponds have proven successful for the recovery of amphibian populations, there is no such information for stream-dwelling amphibians, possibly because fish removal from streams is difficult and costly. Here, we show the first case of successful recovery of a stream-dwelling amphibian (Rana iberica) in a mountain area of central Spain, following eradication of introduced brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and native brown trout (Salmo trutta) translocated from downstream reaches by local anglers. Electrofishing for 12 consecutive years eradicated both fish species in the introduced area, and allowed the recovery of the R. iberica population as a result of natural recolonization from nearby streams and reintroduction of captive-reared individuals. Our results demonstrate how electrofishing can be a costly but effective method for the eradication of introduced fish and the conservation of stream-dwelling amphibians.