Brazil has the highest amphibian diversity in the world, with over 1000 described species. In the southern Brazilian Atlantic forest researchers are reporting population declines and disappearances of amphibians, mainly after the 1970's. Most of these species is not classified in any level of threat in the IUCN red list, mainly due to the lack of information about their biology and geographical distributions. Search for DNA traces of these amphibian species that can remain in the environment (environmental DNA or eDNA) would allow us to monitor a wide geographical range in a short period of time, without the need for direct observation of individuals, and would ultimately increase our ability to survey the species. The aim of this study is therefore to provide information about the conservation status of declining or potentially disappeared amphibian species from southern Brazilian Atlantic forest, to be applied in conservation actions. We will analyze water samples from six sites using the eDNA metabarcoding approach to search for DNA traces of the target amphibian species. The results obtained will improve our knowledge about the geographical distribution of these species and whether the researches observations reflect true declines or disappearances of amphibians.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: