Globally, at least 43% of amphibian species are declining, due primarily to habitat destruction and modification, over-exploitation, emerging diseases, and invasive alien species. In Chile there are 60 species of amphibians and of these, 62% are endemic and 73% are in a conservation category, such as the Chilean giant frog (Calyptocephalella gayi), a living fossil classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its decline is associated with over-exploitation for sale of its meat as a gourmet product, together with the “megadrought” experienced by Chile in recent years, and the presence of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is causing amphibian mortalities all over the world. The sustained increase in threats to this frog species requires strategic conservation planning, which should be based on the knowledge of aspects of their basic biology. This led us to search for the available published information on this species, compiling the reachable data on the web from 1927 to 2019. We found 353 publications, and our two main conclusions about the knowledge on this species are that there is a high percentage (43%) of publications focused on studies of the morpho-physiological aspects, and that there is a significant lack of data on its ecology and natural history. We discuss how these deficiencies limit the possibility of implementing adequate management and/or conservation plans for this species, and finally propose areas of study that should provide a solid contribution towards the preservation of this species.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Marta Mora, Francisca Bardi, Antonieta Labra