Amphibian Occupancy, Habitat Use, and Reproductive Success in a System of Restored Wetlands
Society for the Study of Amphibians & Reptiles 58th Annual Meeting
University of Kansas
Amphibians are of great conservation concern due to alarming population declines worldwide. These vulnerable ectotherms are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, especially in the midwestern United States. Efforts to restore wetland habitat can mitigate some aspects of habitat loss, but effective sampling techniques and suitable analytical approaches are needed to accurately measure the quality of the restored habitat. Occupancy modeling was applied to amphibians inhabiting a 716 acre restored wetland system in northeast Indiana in 2013 and 2014. Two types of survey methods—call surveys and tadpole surveys—were used to measure and compare amphibian presence and absence in the preserve. For all species in the Hylidae, occupancy of calling males did not accurately predict occupancy of tadpoles. The Blanchard’s Cricket Frog, a species of special concern in Indiana, colonized the restored wetland complex for the first time since it was restored in 2009. Depth at one meter from the shoreline was a driving factor in tadpole occupancy and species richness. While this wetland supports viable populations of several amphibians, management decisions should focus on providing shallow habitat with ephemeral hydroperiods in order to maximize reproductive success.
Emily Stulik and Bruce A. Kingsbury Ph.D. (2015).
Amphibian Occupancy, Habitat Use, and Reproductive Success in a System of Restored Wetlands. Presented at Society for the Study of Amphibians & Reptiles 58th Annual Meeting, University of Kansas.