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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Bruce Kingsbury

Department/Program

Department of Biology

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

Abstract

Amphibians have been of great conservation concern due to alarming declines in populations worldwide. These vulnerable animals are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, especially in the Midwestern United States. Efforts to prevent declines usually involve restoring natural habitat from anthropogenic disturbances, such as agriculture. These efforts can mitigate some aspects of habitat degradation and loss, but restoration opportunities are limited and they must be effective. Assessing that effectiveness requires sampling and suitable analytical approaches to be accurate measures of the quality and functionality of the restored habitat. Recently, occupancy modeling in program PRESENCE has shown promise as an innovative and advanced approach to measuring presence, absence, and habitat use of various species. This type of analysis was applied to anurans to measure occupancy rates, habitat use, and reproductive success in a restored wetland. Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, a 716 acre restored floodplain wetland system in Fort Wayne, Indiana, provides an ideal and unique site to conduct this research. My objectives in this study were to compare occupancy rates among species and sampling methods. Two types of survey methods, call surveys and tadpole surveys, were used to measure anuran presence and absence. The Gray Treefrog, Hyla versicolor, had the highest occupancy rates among species and survey type for call surveys. The Northern Leopard Frog, Lithobates pipiens, a Species of Special Concern showed relatively high tadpole occupancy rates, suggesting improved reproductive success in the wetland for this vulnerable species. Preliminary analysis shows significant anuran use of the restored habitat, but further modeling in PRESENCE will confirm factors affecting habitat use, occupancy, and detection probability.

Disciplines

Biology | Life Sciences

Amphibian Occupancy and Habitat Use in a Restored Wetland

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Biology Commons

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