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Townsend and Colleagues Promote Conservation of Critically Endangered Species in Honduras

Josiah Townsend (Department of Biology) and coauthors from Honduras and the USA have published a Spanish-language study identifying the species of highest conservation priority among the Honduran herpetofauna.

Coauthors Larry David Wilson (Zamorano Biodiversity Center, Honduras) and Ileana Luque (University of Florida and Zamorano Biodiversity Center, Honduras) search for endemic salamanders in a recently destroyed Honduran cloud forest.At left: Coauthors Larry David Wilson (Zamorano Biodiversity Center, Honduras) and Ileana Luque (University of Florida and Zamorano Biodiversity Center, Honduras) search for endemic salamanders in a recently destroyed Honduran cloud forest. Photo by Townsend.

These 47 species of amphibians and reptiles are endemic to Honduras, meaning they are found nowhere else on Earth. Unfortunately, these same species are also classified as Critically Endangered, the highest threat category on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. These species make up the Critically Endangered Endemic Component (CEEC) of the Honduran herpetofauna and are found in 19 sites around the country, including highland cloud forests and Caribbean islands.

A critically endangered endemic treefrog (Duellmanohyla salvavida) from northern Honduras. (At right: A critically endangered endemic treefrog (Duellmanohyla salvavida) from northern Honduras. Photo by Townsend.)

To maximize the usefulness of this study to lawmakers, conservation practitioners, and students in Latin America and beyond, the study was published in Spanish and provided free of charge on the website of the Latin American Journal of Conservation.

“It is important to make this type of research easily accessible to the people with the greatest opportunity and stake in conserving Honduran biodiversity, namely the residents of Honduras and the region,” Townsend said. “All too often researchers from the United States and Europe visit these regions to collect data and samples without putting an equal amount of effort into sharing their findings widely in the countries where they work.”

The complete study is available, in Spanish, for free download.

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