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On the Pacific island of Guam, control of the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) relies largely on methods that use mice as bait. Juvenile B. irregularis feed primarily on lizards and their eggs, but little is known about their prey preference. We conducted an experiment to investigate preferences for, and acceptance of, dead geckos, skinks, and neonatal mice, in juvenile B. irregularis ranging from 290 mm to ca. 700 mm snout-vent length (SVL). Snakes of all sizes showed a preference for geckos over skinks and neonatal mice. Geckos were the first prey chosen in 87% of 224 initial trials (56 snakes subjected to four trials each; 33% would be expected from a random choice). The smallest snakes had the most...
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Information on interactions between pesticide exposure and disease prevalence in amphibian populations is limited, especially from field data. Exposure to certain herbicides and insecticides has the potential to decrease the immune response in frogs, which can potentially lead to increased abundance of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) zoospores on individuals and in the wetlands. In contrast, exposure to certain fungicides can decrease Bd abundance on frog skin. We examined the relationships between the abundance of Bd on the skin of individual Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and the concentrations of pesticides in the water and in frog tissue at six agriculturally dominated wetlands in Iowa, USA. We...
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High variability in abundance, cryptic coloration, and small body size of newly metamorphosed anurans have limited demographic studies of this life-history stage. We used line-transect distance sampling and Bayesian methods to estimate the abundance and spatial distribution of newly metamorphosed Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) in terrestrial habitat surrounding a montane lake in central Washington, USA. We completed 154 line-transect surveys from the commencement of metamorphosis (15 September 2009) to the date of first snow accumulation in fall (1 October 2009), and located 543 newly metamorphosed toads. After accounting for variable detection probability associated with the extent of barren habitats, estimates...
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In contrast to most local amphibian populations, northeastern populations of the Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) have displayed uncharacteristically high levels of genetic diversity that have been attributed to large, stable populations. However, this widely distributed species also occurs in areas known for great climatic fluctuations that should be reflected in corresponding fluctuations in population sizes and reduced genetic diversity. To test our hypothesis that Northern Leopard Frog genetic diversity would be reduced in areas subjected to significant climate variability, we examined the genetic diversity of L. pipiens collected from 12 sites within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. Despite...
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Amphibian populations and species are declining or disappearing from many regions throughout the world (Stuart et al. 2004). No single cause has been demonstrated, although a number of emerging infectious diseases have been suggested as primary etiologic agents (Berger et al. 1998; Daszak et al. 2003; Lips et al. 2006). Several factors, including climate change, parasite infestation or compromised immune systems may interact locally or regionally to threaten species and populations (Carey and Bryant 1995; Parris and Beaudoin 2004; Pounds et al. 2006). Still, the disease model of amphibian decline may not be universally applicable (Daszak et al. 2005; McCallum 2005). The impacts of disease can devastate anuran populations,...
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Effects of wildfire on amphibians are complex, and some species may benefit from the severe disturbance of stand-replacing fire. Boreal Toads (Bufo boreas boreas) in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA increased in occurrence after fires in 2001 and 2003. We used radio telemetry to track adult B. boreas in a mosaic of terrestrial habitats with different burn severities to better understand factors related to the post-fire pulse in breeding activity. Toads used severely burned habitats more than expected and partially burned habitats less than expected. No toads were relocated in unburned habitat, but little of the study area was unburned and the expected number of observations in unburned habitat was < 3. High vagility...
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Disturbances can significantly affect the thermal regime and community structure of wetlands. We investigated the effect of a wildfire on water temperature of seasonal, montane wetlands after documenting the colonization of recently burned wetlands by the Boreal Toad (Bufo boreas boreas). We compared the daily mean temperature, daily maximum temperature, and accumulated growing degree days measured on the north shore of three classes of wetlands: unburned wetlands, burned wetlands that were colonized by breeding toads, and burned wetlands that were not colonized. We hypothesized that toads colonized burned wetlands because they were warmer than unburned wetlands and selected specific burned wetlands because they...
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The cedar glades and barrens of the Inner Central Basin (ICB) of middle Tennessee support a unique and diverse flora and fauna and represent some of the state's most valued natural areas. We conducted herpetofaunal inventories of the cedar glades, associated barrens, cedar-hardwood forest, and adjacent aquatic habitats of the Stones River drainage of Middle Tennessee, focusing our sampling effort primarily at seven state- or federally owned properties in Rutherford and Wilson counties. These properties included Stones River National Battlefield (SRNB), Flat Rock State Natural Area (FRSNA), Vesta Cedar Glade State Natural Area (VSNA), Fall Creek Recreation Area (FCRA) on J. Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area,...
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We studied the microhabitat characteristics of 747 egg masses of the federally-threatened Rana draytonii (California red-legged frog) at eight sites in California. our study showed that a broad range of aquatic habitats are utilized by ovipositing R. draytonii, including sites with perennial and ephemeral water sources, natural and constructed wetlands, lentic and lotic hydrology, and sites surrounded by protected lands and nested within modified urban areas. We recorded 45 different egg mass attachment types, although the use of only a few types was common at each site. These attachment types ranged from branches and roots of riparian trees, emergent and submergent wetland vegetation, flooded upland grassland/ruderal...
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We present the first regional trends in anuran occupancy for eight states of the southeastern United States, based on 13 y (2001–2013) of North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) data. The NAAMP is a longterm monitoring program in which observers collect anuran calling observation data at fixed locations along random roadside routes. We assessed occupancy trends for 14 species. We found weak evidence for a general regional pattern of decline in calling anurans within breeding habitats along roads in the southeastern USA over the last 13 y. Two species had positive regional trends with 95% posterior intervals that did not include zero (Hyla cinerea and Pseudacris crucifer). Five other species also showed...
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The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has a long and distinguished history of employing herpetologists to conduct basic and applied research to better manage amphibian and reptile populations on public lands and even outside the boundaries of the United States. This history extends back over 125 years with roots in the U.S. Biological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and later, the National Biological Service. In more recent times, the DOI employed more professional herpetologists than any single organization in the world, especially in the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1938, Henry Fitch was the first Interior scientist hired who conducted substantial...
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American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) have been introduced across the globe, including in many northern latitude habitats where wetlands are ice-covered for part of the year. Because bullfrogs are less mobile at low temperatures, greater knowledge about their overwintering habitat may provide additional opportunities for control. Here, we described fall and early-winter movements and habitat associations for introduced juvenile bullfrogs in a pond within the Yellowstone River corridor near Billings, Montana, USA. We attached radio-transmitters to 13 juvenile bullfrogs and located individuals from 28 August to 10 December 2014. Bullfrogs moved greater distances in late summer and early autumn, and later during...
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Inception of a new journal in herpetology is a rare event. The first discussion of developing a journal with an emphasis on natural history and conservation occurred among a subset of us (McCallum, others), while at the 2005 joint annual meeting of the SSAR/HL/ASIH in Tampa, Florida. Some of the initial questions we posed for a new herpetological journal were as follows: (1) is there a need; (2) audience; and (3) support? If any one of these did not exist, then the concept should be abandoned or modified. We critically examined these questions through discussions with many individuals and informal surveys performed on the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) listserver (parc@listserv.uga.edu) and...
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Telemetry data for 59 Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens) breeding in ponds in Houston and Winona Counties, MN; 2001-2002. Agricultural intensification is causing declines in many wildlife species, including Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Specific information about frog movements, habitat selection, and sources of mortality can be used to inform conservation-focused land management and acquisition. We studied Northern Leopard Frogs in southeastern Minnesota, part of the Driftless Area ecoregion, characterized by hills and valleys and a mix of agriculture, forests, small towns and farmsteads. In this area, small farm ponds, originally built to control soil erosion are used by the species for...
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Increasing detection and capture probabilities of rare or elusive herpetofauna of conservation concern is important to inform the scientific basis for their management and recovery. The Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) is an example of a secretive, wary, and generally difficult-to-sample species about which little is known regarding its patterns of occurrence and demography. We therefore evaluated modifications to existing traps to increase the detection and capture probabilities of the Giant Gartersnake to improve the precision with which occurrence, abundance, survival, and other demographic parameters are estimated. We found that adding a one-way valve constructed of cable ties to the small funnel opening...
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We used radio telemetry to track the terrestrial movements and seasonal habitat use patterns of Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) near two ponds in the Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve, California, USA. We captured 93 turtles in September 2005 and, of these, we tagged three males and six females(weighing > 300 g) with external transmitters. Tagged turtles traveled from 255–1,096 m over the 448-day study, and we found none further than 343 m from ponds. All turtles moved away from the ponds as water levels receded in the fall, resulting in periods of terrestrial overwintering ranging from 10–30 weeks (74–202 d). We found no evidence for group migrations as turtles departed ponds over 2–8 week periods, moved...
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The California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii) is a threatened species in the United States that has undergone population declines, especially in southern California. Due to the lack of information on the status of Mexican populations, we surveyed for the presence of R. draytonii in Baja California and assessed possible threats to population persistence. Our study area extended from the U.S.-Mexican border to the southern end of the distribution of the species in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir. We found R. draytonii at six of 15 historical sites, none at five proxy sites (i.e., alternative sites chosen because the historical record lacked precise locality data), and four at 24 additional sites. The 10 occupied sites...
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Many marine species have complex life histories that involve disparate developmental, foraging and reproductive habitats and a holistic assessment of the spatial requirements for different life stages is a challenge that greatly complicates their management. Here, we combined data from oceanographic modeling, nesting surveys, and satellite tracking to examine the spatial requirements of different life stages of Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) from a distinct population segment in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Our findings indicate that after emerging from nesting beaches in Alabama and Northwest Florida, hatchlings disperse widely and the proportion of turtles following a given route varies substantially through...
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We present the first multi-year occupancy trends from North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) data in 10 northeastern states using seven years of data (2001-2007). NAAMP uses a calling survey technique where observers listen for anuran vocalizations along assigned random roadside routes. We were able to assess occupancy trends in 10 northeastern states for 16 species and one species complex, for 94 species/state combinations. We found no significant trends for 64 species/state combinations. For the remaining 30 species/state combinations with significant trends, these split between declining and increasing trends. On a species-by-species basis, two species had declining trends, with significant trends...


map background search result map search result map Using spatiotemporal models and distance sampling to map the space use and abundance of newly metamorphosed Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) Complex spatial dynamics maintain northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) genetic diversity in a temporally varying landscape Terrestrial movement patterns of western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) in central California Using spatiotemporal models and distance sampling to map the space use and abundance of newly metamorphosed Western Toads (Anaxyrus boreas) Complex spatial dynamics maintain northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) genetic diversity in a temporally varying landscape Terrestrial movement patterns of western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) in central California