Bullfrog management in Flanders (north Belgium): Are we aiming high enough?

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper/Powerpoint/Abstract

    Abstract

    American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is one of the world’s worst invasive
    species and suspected to cause substantial ecological damage around the globe
    through predation, competition and pathogen transmission. The species has
    been introduced in Flanders at the end of the 1990s. Since then the population
    has been expanding its distribution area, and now holds an area of occupancy
    of 17 km2. The largest stronghold is a (meta)population in a river valley where
    a large reproducing population in a complex of several hundreds of - largely
    private - ponds used for recreational fishing and gardening is present. The
    north of the province of Antwerp is home to a few smaller isolated populations.
    To halt the spread, and reduce its impact on native biota, regional and local
    authorities, ngo’s, conservation managers, a social economy company and
    scientists worked together in the cross-border EU co-funded Interreg project
    Invexo (www.invexo.be). Attempts were undertaken to eradicate the smaller
    populations, using a variety of active trapping techniques. Research was
    performed into cost-effectiveness of double fyke nets. This catching gear is
    relatively cheap, easy to handle and know has documented catchability for
    both larval and adult stages, thereby offering some perspectives for integrated
    control of populations. Management followed a holistic approach, integrating
    active removal with habitat management by introduction of native predatory
    fish, which has been shown to increase the general quality of the aquatic habitats
    involved. Meanwhile, risk analysis was performed for bullfrog in Belgium in
    order to underpin legislative action to prevent new incursions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages35
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Thematic list

    • Amphibians and reptiles
    • Invasive species (fauna management)
    • Invasive species (management)
    • Invasive species (species diversity)
    • Invasive species (nature management)
    • Still waters

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • B005-zoology

    Taxonomic list

    • frogs and toads (Anura)
    • amphibians (Amphibia)

    Policy

    • species directed nature management
    • aquatic management

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