Does restricted access limit management of invasive urban frogs?

19 December 2017

Management recommendations that target urban invaders should consider environmental and socio-economic aspects peculiar to the urban landscape. Urbanization often leads to the fragmentation of the invaded landscape into subunits inaccessible to managers (restricted access) or for which detailed information is lacking. Using models to explore impact of these limitations on management success provides a useful approach to propose effective counter measures. Here we deploy a spatially explicit age-structured model applied to a pond network to investigate how restricted access and lack of detailed information may affect management of three invasive anuran species across a peri-urban landscape. The target species, the guttural toad Sclerophrys gutturalis, the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis and the painted reed frog Hyperolius marmoratus, belong to different ecotypes (terrestrial, aquatic and arboreal, respectively) and have different life history traits. We show that restricted property access significantly constrains management success in two of the three species (the guttural toad and the painted reed frog), while lack of detailed information around the invaded landscape impedes successful management in only one species (the guttural toad). The species-dependent response we detected is due to contrasting demographic and spatial invasion dynamics linked to the different anuran ecotypes. Our work highlights the necessity to adopt a context-dependent approach when proposing management recommendations in urban environment.