American bullfrog invasion in Argentina: where should we take urgent measures?
Argentina, ecological modeling, invasion, Lithobates catesbeianus, Maxent, Multivariate Environmental Similarity Surface
Argentina is the country with the most geographically extended biological invasion of the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) in South America after Brazil. Here, we used a maximum entropy ecological niche modeling algorithm (using records of the native range of American bullfrog) to project the model onto the whole of Argentina. We determined the most suitable habitats for this invasive alien species and where we consider urgent measures should be taken. Our projections showed good agreement with known feral populations of American bullfrog in Argentina. By implementing the ‘‘Multivariate Environmental Similarity Surface’’ analysis, we be able to determine that factors such as low precipitations or highest altitudes could be limiting the species’ ability to invade the west and south of the country. We suggest that strategies should focus on detecting established feral populations of the American bullfrog and preventing further introductions or range expansion of feral populations in the northeast portion of the country. Lastly, we report a new feral population of bullfrogs in Argentina.