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Invasive species have a significant negative impact on the environment where they have been introduced, and amphibians are among some of worse invasives . All known amphibian introductions are linked to human activities, generally in relation with pest control or food provisioning. This is the case of all amphibians on Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea, which were originally and mistakenly thought to be “reintroduced” after extirpation, or introduced for specific but non-realised purposes such as food provisioning and pest-control. We conducted call and visual encounter surveys on all valleys of Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea, in April and May 2021 to detect the presence of amphibian species. The call surveys and subsequent call analyses revealed the presence of two independent populations of Pelophylax nigromaculatus, and encounter surveys resulted in the sampling of Rana tadpoles identified as Rana huanrenensis with molecular tools. These results highlight the presence of these two species at low density on this island, but do not provide data on the impact of their presence.
BioInvasions Records (2022) Volume 11, Issue 1: 278–2
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 278
Rapid Communication
Record of invasive Rana huanrenensis Fei, Ye, and Huang, 1990 and
Pelophylax nigromaculatus (Hallowell, 1861) on Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea
Yoonhyuk Bae1, Jongsun Park2,3, Siti N. Othman1, Yikweon Jang4 and Amaël Borzée1,*
1Laboratory of Animal Behaviour and Conservation, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, Peoples
Republic of China.
2InfoBoss Inc., room 301, 670, Seolleung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
3InfoBoss Research Center, 301 room, 670, Seolleung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
4Department of Life Science and Division of EcoScience, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
*Corresponding author
Non-native species have a significant negative impact on the environment where
they have been introduced, and amphibians are among some of worse invasives. All
known amphibian introductions are linked to human activities, generally in relation
with pest control or food provisioning. This is the case of all amphibians on Ulleung
Island, which were originally and mistakenly thought to be “reintroduced” after
extirpation, or introduced for unrealised purposes such as food provisioning and
pest-control. We conducted call and visual encounter surveys in all valleys of
Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea, in April and May 2021 to detect the presence of
amphibian species. The call surveys and subsequent call analyses revealed the
presence of two geographically independent populations of Pelophylax nigromaculatus,
and encounter surveys resulted in the sampling of Rana tadpoles identified as Rana
huanrenensis with molecular tools. These results highlight the presence of these
two species at low density on this island, but do not provide data on the impact of
their presence.
Key words: brown frog, pond frog, Northeast Asia, invasive species, amphibian
Invasive species are one of the prime causes of biodiversity loss because of
their negative impact on native species (Kiesecker et al. 2001; Mayer et al.
2015). Within amphibians, the Cane toad (Rhinella marina (Linnaeus,
1758)), the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis (Daudin, 1802)), the Asian
black-crested toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799)) and the
American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802)) are among the
worse, and most widespread, invasive species (Andersen et al. 2021). Their
presence threaten the survival of other species, as for instance L. catesbeianus
is threatening Rana draytonii Baird & Girard, 1852 (Lawler et al. 1999) in
North America and Dryophytes flaviventris Borzée & Min, 2020 (Borzée et
al. 2020b) in the Republic of Korea, among many species (Li et al. 2011; da
Silva Silveira and Guimarães 2021). The blame should however not be cast
Borzée A (2022) Record of invasive
Fei, Ye, and Huang,
and Pelophylax nigromaculatus
on Ulleung Island,
. BioInvasions Records
(1): 278286,
2 September 2021
26 November 2021
24 January 2022
Yik Hei Sung
Stelios Katsanevakis
© Bae et al.
Attribution 4 .0 International - CC BY 4.0) .
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 279
on species exploiting niches made available by human activities, but on the
decision made to introduce the species. These introduction are most
generally linked to pest control, for instance R. marina in Australia (Taylor
and Edwards 2005) and Glandirana rugosa (Temminck & Schlegel, 1838)
in Hawaii, USA, (Kraus et al. 1999), or food provisioning (Groffen et al. 2019).
In the Republic of Korea, the worse invasive amphibian is L. catesbeianus
(Groffen et al. 2019), although there are also records of D. melanostictus
(Othman et al. 2020a) and X. laevis, both linked to the trade (Borzée et al.
2021). In addition, the situation could get worse due to the presence of an
extremely large number of amphibian species in the pet trade (Koo et al.
2020). This is a possibly disastrous situation (Borzée et al. 2020a), although
potentially addressed by the request for updated regulations in the import
of non-native species (law case proposition number 7177).
Ulleung Island is a young volcanic island dating back to the late-
Pliocene and early Holocene (Kim and Lee 2008). No amphibian species is
native to the island, but this knowledge was not yet determined when
Pelophylax nigromaculatus (Hallowell, 1861) was erroneously “re”-introduced
in 1937 (Shin et al. 1996), and potentially introduced in 2013 with a batch
of Rana sp. as the species was still commonly referred to as “Rana
nigromaculata” at that time. In addition, other amphibians have been
introduced over time, and other species have been recorded but their origin
is unknown, such as Dryophytes japonicus (Günther, 1859) (Oh 2001).
The lack of knowledge on the non-native status of amphibians of
Ulleung Island is easily overcome through the grey literature, and for
instance Ulleung county office released around 4,500 Rana sp. individuals
in the Okcheon Stream for a restoration project in 2013 (Kim 2013). The
fate of the reintroduced individuals was however not monitored and most
frogs are expected to have been predated due to the high density of avian
predators (Shin et al. 1996). We conducted call and visual encounter
surveys on Ulleung Island in April and May 2021 to determine the
occurrence status of early breeding amphibian species on the island, and
employed acoustic and molecular analyses to identify the species.
Materials and methods
Field surveys
We conducted acoustic and visual encounter surveys between 28 April and
2 May 2021. We surveyed all streams and water bodies visible from satellite
views, and conducted at least one survey in each valley (Figure 1). Surveys
focused on habitat suitable for amphibians based on maps and satellite
views (; We spent a minimum of 10
min listening for calling activity at each of the wetlands. We recorded all
calling individuals with a linear PCM recorder (Tascam DR-40; California,
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 280
Figure 2. Map of amphibian surveys conducted on Ulleung Island between 28 April and 2 May
2021. Surveys were conducted in the form or acoustic and visual encounters. Map created with
arcGIS online ( Imagery layer from Earthstar Geographics.
USA) linked to a unidirectional microphone (Unidirectional electret
condenser microphone HT-81, HTDZ; Xi’an, China). We could not collect
any of the individuals heard calling.
We conducted visual encounter surveys during both day time and night
time to maximise the chance of finding amphibians. We focused on
finding eggs or tadpoles during daytime, and adults during night time. We
did not find any adults, but collected three Rana tadpoles that we tail-
clipped following a least invasive method (Othman et al. 2020b). All
individuals were captured under the permit 2021-1 issued by Ulleung
county, allowing for capture of three Rana huanrenensis Fei, Ye & Huang,
1990 or Rana uenoi Matsui, 2014 for identification. All individuals were
released at the point of capture following the sampling procedure.
Call analyses
Prior to data extraction, we filtered out the background noises at 1 kHz,
and the set the spectrogram configuration at a 256-sample Hann window
size, 128-sample hop size with 50% frame overlap and 172-Hz frequency
grid spacing. We analysed each call for both temporal and spectral
domains (Raven Pro 1.4; Cornell Lab of Ornithology, New York, USA),
following the recommendations of Koehler et al. (2017).
Molecular analyses
Three Rana sp. tadpoles were collected on 29 April 2021 in Ulleung county
(37.472778 °N; 130.848611 °E). We extracted the total DNA from the tail
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 281
Table 1. Information of samples used for phylogenetic tree reconstruction.
Accession number
Rana amurensis Liaoning, Zhangwu, China KU343216
Zhao et al. 2016
(direct submission to GenBank)
Rana coreana Republic of Korea KM590550
Jang and Hwang 2015
(direct submission to GenBank)
Rana chensinensis
Yellow Sea basin of North China
Li et al. (2014)
Rana kukunoris
Helan Mountains, Inner Mongolia, China
Wang et al. 2020
Rana huanrenensis
(Ulleung Island)
Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea MZ779046 This study
Rana huanrenensis
(Northern China)
Huanren, Liaoning in China KT588071 Dong et al. (2016)
Rana omeimontis
Yucheng District, Sichuan, China
Yang et al. 2018
Rana uenoi Republic of Korea MW009067
Suk and Min 2020
(direct submission to GenBank)
Rana dybowskii
Amur River basin of Northeast China
Li et al. (2014)
clip of one individual (voucher number: 20RXV003) using the DNeasy
Blood & Tissue Kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany) according to manufacturer
protocol to sequence the complete mitogenome of the individual. We then
constructed the sequencing library using Illumina TruSeq DNA PCR-Free
Library Preparation Kit (Illumina, San Diego, CA) following the manufacturer’s
recommendations with around 350-bp DNA fragments. We obtained a
total of 5.3 Gbp raw sequences from Illumina NovaSeq6000 at Macrogen
Inc., Korea, and we filtered the raw sequences using Trimmomatic v0.33
(Bolger et al. 2014). We then conducted the de novo assembly and confirmed
with Velvet v1.2.10 (Zerbino and Birney 2008), SOAPGapCloser v1.12
(Zhao et al. 2011), BWA v0.7.17 (Li et al. 2009), and SAMtools v1.9 (Song
and Liang 2013) under the environment of Genome Information System
(GeIS; which has been used in previous studies
(Kim et al. 2021; Jung et al. 2021; Lee et al. 2020). We used Geneious R11
v11.1.5 (Biomatters Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand) to transfer the
annotation of the assembled mitogenome based on alignments with
another Rana huanrensis mitochondrial genome (NC_028521; Dong et al.
2016) and MITOS (Bernt et al. 2013). We deposited the sequence to the
GenBank database under the accession number MZ779046.
Phylogenetic analysis
Here, we determined the species identity using phylogenetic analyses. We
reconstructed a phylogenetic tree based on the complete mitochondrial
sequence of our Rana sample (19,146 bp; GenBank accession number:
MZ779046) with eight homologous sequences from Rana sp. distributed
across Northeast Asia (total n taxa = 9; Table 1). We aligned the
mitogenomes sequences using ClustalW2 (Larkin et al. 2007). To remove
the unnecessary gaps, we trimmed both ends of the aligned sequences and
obtained a final length of 13,546 kb for the aligned sequences. To infer the
phylogenetic relationship, we searched for the best-fit evolutionary model
using bModeltest v2.0 (Bouckaert and Drummond 2017). Here, we predicted
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 282
Figure 2. Call recording of Pelophylax nigromaculatus from Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea,
recorded in April 2021.
the model K80/HKY to be the best-fit evolutionary model for our full
length mtDNA dataset with a posterior probability of 74.15%. We
reconstructed a maximum clade credibility (MCC) phylogenetic tree using
BEAST v2.6.3 (Bouckaert et al. 2019). We then performed two independent
analyses of the tree following the Markov Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC)
procedure for 20 million iterations. We ensured the adequacy of the
MCMC samplings by assessing the effective sample size (ESS) values of
each parameter (ESS > 200) using Tracer v1.7 (Rambaut et al. 2018). We
assembled all the generated trees in LogCombiner v2.6.1 (Bouckaert et al.
2019), and summarized the MCC tree after discarding 25% of the trees with
a posterior probability limit of 0.5 using Tree Annotator v2.6.3 (Bouckaert
et al. 2019). We visualised the MCC tree using Fig tree v.1.4.3 (Rambaut 2009).
We assigned the calls we recorded (37.464155 °N; 130.869171 °E and
37.517096 °N; 130.815914 °E; Figure 1) to Pelophylax nigromaculatus based
on the analyses (Figure 2). Determining the identity of the species is
straight forward with call properties, but determining the population of
origin, potentially from Japan or the Korean mainland, is impossible at the
moment due to the absence of a database comparable to the one existing
for genetic information.
We collected three tadpoles (37.472778 °N; 130.848611 °E; Figure 1) that
were identified in the field as belonging to the Rana genus, in a habitat
similar to what would be expected for the genus within its native range
(Figure 3). Sequence similarity through BLAST showed a 98.58% match with
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 283
Figure 3. Pictures of the Rana huanrenensis individuals sampled in Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea in April 2021. (A) group
picture in situ; (B) in aquarium at the site; (C) individual in situ. Photographs by YB and AB.
Figure 4. Maximum clade credibility (MCC) tree showing the phylogenetic placement of Rana
huanrenensis from Ulleung Island, Republic of Korea (in red) inferred from the complete
mitochondrial genome. Node values indicate the Bayesian posterior probability (BPP).
Rana huanrenensis. Phylogenetic analyses the full mitogenome clustered
our sample with R. huanrenensis and showed a sister relationship between
our samples and the seven other Rana (Figure 4). The MCC tree strongly
supported the identity of the sample R. huanrenensis, within a monophyletic
clade (posterior probability (PP = 1.0) including the most closely related
northeast Asian Rana such as R. kukunoris and R. chensinensis (Figure 4).
The present of a shallow divergence between the two R. huanrenensis
(BPP = 1.0; Figure 4) indicated the recent introduction of the species.
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 284
Our records of Rana huanrenensis tadpoles, the first time the species is
identified on the island, and the calls of Pelophylax nigromaculatus clarified
the presence of these two species on Ulleung Island. In addition, although
putatively in the case of P. nigromaculatus, the two species are breeding on
the island and therefore maintaining populations, which by their presence
have an impact on the local ecology of species. The extent of their influence
is however unknown and warrants additional research.
While originally laudable, the “re”-introduction of “extinct” Rana species
on Ulleung island instead resulted in the introduction of an non-native
species. The species was found to be restricted to small streams at
comparatively lower elevation, although not all streams could be surveyed on
their totality and the presence of populations at higher elevations is possible.
The case of P. nigromaculatus is different as the presence of the species
on the island was expected. The species was introduced for pest-control of
crops, and opportunistically to provide food. The absence of large scale
natural or agricultural wetlands should have been a predictor of the success
of the species’ introduction for pest control. The species is not currently
widespread, and we detected it in two small wetlands only, one of them
being a fish pond, and therefore sub-optimal for the species. There two
populations are likely to be independent as they are separated by landscape
barriers and a distance generally considered greater than what the species
is able to disperse. We recommend conducting a genetic analysis to
confirm the origin of the populations as they could originate from either
the Japanese archipelago or the Korean mainland.
Current available data lists 242 insect species on Ulleung Island, among
which 35 are endemics (Lim and Lee 2012). While the impact of the
presence of the two anuran species cannot be assessed from the data
available here, the species will clearly have access to niches that were not
occupied before their introduction, with unknown impacts on local
species. We recommend the implementation of a monitoring program to
ensure that the non-native but established species do not spread further
than their current presence, and potentially plan their eradication before
the populations extend beyond control. It is also possible that these are
remnant populations from the introduced individuals, and that their
numbers are slowly declining, a likely hypothesis for P. nigromaculatus.
Thank you to the anonymous reviewers for improving the quality of our manuscript.
Funding declaration
This work was supported by the Foreign Youth Talent Program (QN2021014013L) from the
Ministry of Science and Technology to AB and partially supported by a grant from the Korea
Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI 2021002270001) to YJ.
Invasive amphibians on Ulleung Island
Bae et al. (2022), BioInvasions Records 11(1): 278286, 285
Ethical statement
The experiments conducted in this manuscript were approved by Nanjing Forestry University.
Authors’ contribution
Research conceptualization YB, AB; sample design and methodology YB, JP, SNO, AB;
investigation and data collection YB, SNO, AB; data analysis and interpretation YB, JP,
SNO, AB; funding provision YJ, AB; writing (original draft) YB, AB; writing (review and
editing) YB, JP, SNO, YJ, AB.
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Invasive species have a massive impact on their environment and predicting geographical zones at risk of invasion is paramount to the control of further invasions. Invasive anurans are particularly detrimental to native amphibian species, other vertebrates, and even aquaculture through competition, predation, disease transmission, toxicity, or a combination of these. Four species have been designated as the worst anuran invaders worldwide: Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus and Xenopus laevis. In this study, we modelled global habitat suitability for all four species using ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA) to predict the most susceptible areas to invasion. Models showed suitable climatic conditions for all four species expanded beyond their current native and invasive ranges. Tropical, subtropical, and island biomes around the world were among the areas with the highest ENFA suitability for all four species. Further, marginality statistics indicate niche expansion in D. melanostictus, and generalism in the three other species. As only climatic variables were used in the modelling, these results show the ultimate distributions if all landscape conditions are met without significant barriers to invasion.
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Tail clipping of amphibian tadpoles is one of the minimally invasive, non-lethal procedures, (apart from skin swabbing) used to collect tissues without euthanising the target individual. It is commonly used for species identification, especially when the continuity between the tadpoles and adult stages is not known. However, there is a lack of published standard and safe protocol for tail clipping of anuran tadpoles. To determine the efficiency of the protocol defined herein, we tail clipped 3.0 mm of four Rana huanrenensis tadpoles (Fei, Ye & Huang, 1990), two at each of the Gosner stages 34 and 41. We observed the tails resorbing from tail length = 20.625 ± 0.64 mm on day 0 post-clipping to 5.75 ± 3.49 mm on day 6 post-clipping. During this period, metamorphosis progressed for individuals tail-clipped at Gosner stage 34 (total length: 33.75 ± 2.35 mm; day 0 post-clipping) to Gosner stage 43 (total length: 28.5 ± 3.47 mm; day 6 post-clipping); and individuals tail-clipped at Gosner stage 41 (total length: 35.75 ± 0.35 mm; day 0 post-clipping) to Gosner stage 46 (total length: 15.00 ± 0.00 mm; day 6 post-clipping). We did not record any fatality during the experiment. DNA extracted from 3.0 mm of tail tip tissue yielded gDNA concentrations between 10 and 32 ng/µl, a sufficient amount for barcoding and fingerprinting. We conclude that this protocol is adequate for R. huanrenensis and Ranidae in general, and it is safe for tadpoles at Gosner stage 34 and above.
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The bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus, is one of the most important invasive anurans, affecting especially native anurans due to their similar habits. Here we used a hierarchical co-occurrence model fit in a Bayesian framework to investigate the effects of the bullfrog on two native frog species from southern Brazil, testing the hypothesis that bullfrog presence changes the activity of native species and their relationship with habitat. We found that both occupancy and detection probabilities of native species were similar with bullfrog presence or absence at a site. However, we observed changes in activity and microhabitat use preferences of both native species when the bullfrog was present, suggesting that the presence of the invasive species altered the behavior of the native species. Changes induced by invasive species can result in severe long-term consequences for native species since niche differentiation may not mediate the ability of species to persist together indefinitely. Graphic abstract
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Abstract. Amphibian diseases and invasive amphibian species are both generally introduced through the wildlife trade, either for human consumption or for the pet trade. However, adequate regulations can prevent such introductions. In the Republic of Korea, the establishment of invasive Lithobates catesbeianus populations resulted in the alteration of native species’ ecology and in an increase in Batrachochytrid load on local species. While not exemplified yet, the same risk arises from all species in the trade, some of which are already found in the wild despite the potential threats to the ecosystems. While regulations exist for the trade of wildlife in general, they are not directly addressing the amphibian trade, especially newly traded species. Thus, we recommend a restriction on the trade of amphibians in Korea. Actionable recommendations. - Regulation of amphibian trade entering the Republic of Korea (food- and pet-trade) - Implementation of a stricter control of amphibian species already in the trade - Establishment of quarantine and testing for all amphibians entering the country
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Divergence-time estimation critically improves the understanding of biogeography processes underlying the distribution of species, especially when fossil data is not available. We hypothesise that the Asian black-spined toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus, expanded into the Eastern Indomalaya following the Quaternary glaciations with the subsequent colonisation of new landscapes during the Last Glacial Maximum. Divergence dating inferred from 364 sequences of mitochondrial tRNAGly-ND3 supported the emergence of a common ancestor to the three D. melanostictus clades around 1.85 (± 0.77) Ma, matching with the Lower to Mid-Pleistocene transition. Duttaphrynus melanostictus then dispersed into Southeast Asia from the central Indo-Pacific and became isolated in the Southern Sundaic and Wallacea regions 1.43 (± 0.10) Ma through vicariance as a result of sea level oscillations. The clade on the Southeast Asian mainland then colonised the peninsula from Myanmar to Vietnam and expanded towards Southeastern China at the end of the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution 0.84 (± 0.32) Ma. Population dynamics further highlight an expansion of the Southeast Asian mainland population towards Taiwan, the Northeastern edge of the species’ range after the last interglacial, and during the emergence of the Holocene human settlements around 7,000 BP. Thus, the current divergence of D. melanostictus into three segregated clades was mostly shaped by Quaternary glaciations, followed by natural dispersion events over land bridges and accelerated by anthropogenic activities.
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While comparatively few amphibian species have been described on the North East Asian mainland in the last decades, several species have been the subject of taxonomical debates in relation to the Yellow sea. Here, we sampled Dryophytes sp. treefrogs from the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China to clarify the status of this clade around the Yellow sea and determine the impact of sea level change on treefrogs’ phylogenetic relationships. Based on genetics, call properties, adult morphology, tadpole morphology and niche modelling, we determined the segregated status species of D. suweonensis and D. immaculatus. We then proceeded to describe a new treefrog species, D. flaviventris sp. nov., from the central lowlands of the Republic of Korea. The new species is geographically segregated from D. suweonensis by the Chilgap mountain range and known to occur only in the area of Buyeo, Nonsan and Iksan in the Republic of Korea. While the Yellow sea is the principal element to the current isolation of the three clades, the paleorivers of the Yellow sea basin are likely to have been the major factor for the divergences within this clade. We recommend conducting rapid conservation assessments as these species are present on very narrow and declining ranges.
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The development of transportation and the expansion of the pet market has become the main causes of the increase in the cross-border migration of non-native species. Moreover, recent sales over the Internet were a factor that has promoted pet trades. While the import of non-native species has been steadily increasing in the Republic of Korea, it is not clear how these imported species are traded and how large the trade is. Considering that most of the non-native species found in the wild are the results of release by humans understanding the present situation of pet trades can identify potential non-native species that can enter the wild. This study surveyed the number of species, frequency, and prices of non-native amphibians and reptiles sold in 25 online pet shops from January 22 to February 10, 2019. The results of the survey showed that a total of 677 species of non-native amphibians and reptiles were sold, and the Squamata group accounted for the largest part of them at 65.4% (443 species). The number of non-native amphibians and reptiles sold in online pet shops in 2019 was 2.1 times larger than the 325 species officially imported in 2015. The non-native amphibians and reptiles sold in most pet shops were Litoria caerulea (21 shops) and Correlophus ciliatus (24 shops). The lowest price for non-native amphibians and reptiles was 3,000 won, and the highest price was 100 million won for Rhacodactylus leachianus of Squamata. Among the non-native amphibians and reptiles sold in online pet shops, 11 species were found in the wild and were sold at relatively low prices. We confirmed that Mauremys reevesii, an endangered species class II and natural monument no. 453, and American bullfrogs (albino), an ecosystem disturbing species, were being sold in online pet shops. Moreover, 21.6% of the 677 non-native amphibians and reptiles sold in online pet shops were species designated as CITES. The results of this study can be the important reference data for understanding the status of non-native amphibians and reptiles that are imported and sold in Korea and evaluating and predicting the potential for them to enter the wild.
Emerging infectious diseases are on the rise in many different taxa, including, among others, the amphibian batrachochytrids, the snake fungal disease and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, responsible for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in mammals. Following the onset of the pandemic linked to COVID-19, eastern Asia has shown strong leadership, taking actions to regulate the trade of potential vector species in several regions. These actions were taken in response to an increase in public awareness, and the need for a quick reaction to mitigate against further pandemics. However, trade restrictions rarely affect amphibians, despite the risk of pathogen transmission, directly, or indirectly through habitat destruction and the loss of vector consumption. Thus, species that help alleviate the risk of zoonoses or provide biological control are not protected. Hence, in view of the global amphibian decline and the risk of zoonoses, we support the current wildlife trade regulations and support measures to safeguard wildlife from overexploitation. The current period of regulation overhaul should be used as a springboard for amphibian conservation. To mitigate risks, we suggest the following stipulations specifically for amphibians. I) Restrictions to amphibian farming in eastern Asia, in relation to pathogen transmission and the establishment of invasive species. II) Regulation of the amphibian pet trade, with a focus on potential vector species. III) Expansion of the wildlife trade ban, to limit the wildlife-human-pet interface. The resulting actions will benefit both human and wildlife populations, as they will lead to a decrease in the risk of zoonoses and better protection of the environment. Significance statement There is an increasing number of emerging infectious diseases impacting all species, including amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The latest threat to humans is the virus responsible for COVID-19, and the resulting pandemic. Countries in eastern Asia have taken steps to regulate wildlife trade and prevent further zoonoses thereby decreasing the risk of pathogens arising from wild species. However, as amphibians are generally excluded from regulations we support specific trade restrictions: I) Restrictions to amphibian farming; II) regulation of the amphibian pet trade; III) expansion of the wildlife trade ban. These restrictions will benefit both human and wildlife populations by decreasing the risks of zoonoses and better protecting the environment.