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Postbreeding Movements of the Dark Gopher Frog, Rana sevosa Goin and Netting: Implications for Conservation and Management

Stephen C. Richter, Jeanne E. Young, Richard A. Seigel and Glen N. Johnson
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 316-321
DOI: 10.2307/1566123
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1566123
Page Count: 6
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Postbreeding Movements of the Dark Gopher Frog, Rana sevosa Goin and Netting: Implications for Conservation and Management
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Abstract

Conservation plans for amphibians often focus on activities at the breeding site, but for species that use terrestrial habitats for much of the year, an understanding of nonbreeding habitat use is also essential. We used radio telemetry to study the postbreeding movements of individuals of the only known population of dark gopher frogs, Rana sevosa, during two breeding seasons (1994 and 1996). Movements away from the pond were relatively short (< 300 m) and usually occurred within a two-day period after frogs initially exited the breeding pond. However, dispersal distances for some individuals may have been constrained by a recent clearcut on adjacent private property. Final recorded locations for all individuals were underground retreats associated with stump holes, root mounds of fallen trees, or mammal burrows in surrounding upland areas. When implementing a conservation plan for Rana sevosa and other amphibians with similar habitat utilization patterns, we recommend that a terrestrial buffer zone of protection include the aquatic breeding site and adjacent nonbreeding season habitat. When the habitat is fragmented, the buffer zone should include additional habitat to lessen edge effects and provide connectivity between critical habitats. For our study site, we recommend a 1000-m buffer zone around the primary breeding site and each of two other potential breeding ponds.

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