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Advancing Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Sensitive Amphibian Species in the U.S. Caribbean

Melodious coqui. Image Credit: Alberto Puente

Project Information

Principal Investigator: Jaime Collazo, North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Proposed Project Completion: August 2025
Implements Science Plan Theme: Adaptation
Adam Terando, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Mitchell Eaton, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Kathie Dello, North Carolina State Climate Office
Eloy Martínez, Eastern Illinois University
Alberto R. Puente Rolón, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez


Amphibians in the U.S. Caribbean may be particularly vulnerable to human-caused climate change. The well-known coqui frogs, represented by 17 species in the genus Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, include several mountainous and coastal species that are threatened by extreme heat and drying, loss of coastal freshwater marshes through saltwater intrusion, or both. Over the past decade, the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center has invested in several scientific investigations with the goal of better understanding: 1) how global climate change is likely to affect the local climate of the US Caribbean, and 2) how sensitive different coqui species are to local climate and habitat conditions in Puerto Rico. This next phase of research builds on results from those studies. Specifically, to help inform actions available to resource managers to adapt to a potentially warmer and drier climate with rising seas, this project will: 1) identify areas in Puerto Rico that will provide suitable habitat for the most sensitive coqui species, or that could serve as climate change refugia, i.e. habitats that are expected to warm or dry at slower rates than the surrounding region, and 2) identify habitats that could be suitable in the future for the endangered plains coqui (E. juanariveroi) to support recovery efforts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners.

View an introduction of the project: