Distribution and diversity of amphibians in Albania

Largest study of amphibian distributions in Albania so far identifies diversity hotspots in several regions of the country

Data resources used via GBIF : 8 species occurrences
Rana graeca
Greek frog (Rana graeca) by Jakob Fahr via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Due to long political isolation, Albania and its biodiversity–part of the Mediterranean hotspot–is poorly explored and little is known about the amphibian fauna of the country.

A new study aimed to describe the distribution of Albanian amphibians by combining GBIF-mediated occurrences with data from field studies to remote and less known areas. Pooling a total of 1097 records of 16 species, the authors analyzed the amphibian richness patterns and found 1.8 species per 10 square km cell. Almost 70 per cent of all cells had at least one species present.

Modelling the distribution of known species revealed that land cover and precipitation were the most important predictors of diversity. The authors identified amphibian hotspots in several regions, including the Prokletije, Grammos, Çikës and Korab Mountains, near lakes Ohrid and Prespa, and the coastal regions near Vlorë.

While representing the largest study of amphibian diversity Albania so far, the authors acknowledge that sampling is scarce and uneven. To evaluate efficiency of protected areas, they call for increased samping and a detailed assessment of amphibian diversity in Albania.

Link to original article

Szabolcs M, Mizsei E, Jablonski D, Vági B, Mester B, Végvári Z and Lengyel S (2017) Distribution and diversity of amphibians in Albania: new data and foundations of a comprehensive database. Amphibia-Reptilia. Brill Academic Publishers 38(4): 435–448. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003126.