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Herpetofauna of Glacier National Park

Leo F. Marnell
Northwestern Naturalist
Vol. 78, No. 1 (Spring, 1997), pp. 17-33
DOI: 10.2307/3536855
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3536855
Page Count: 17
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Herpetofauna of Glacier National Park
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Abstract

The current distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Glacier National Park, Montana was documented from museum records and field surveys conducted in 1990 to 1992. Eight species were recorded at 141 sites at elevations from 1000 m to 2300 m. Rana luteiventris was the most common amphibian, occurring parkwide to elevations of 1800 m. Ambystoma macrodactylum occurred in woodlands and wet meadows west of the Continental Divide at elevations between 1050 and 1500 m. This salamander was uncommon on the east side of the park with most sightings recorded in the lower Waterton Valley; none were found in the upper Missouri River drainage. Bufo boreas was widely distributed to elevations up to 2250 m, but was not abundant at most locations. Ascaphus truei was found in small, cold, high gradient streams throughout the Middle Fork drainage, but occurred intermittently in the North Fork and upper Missouri River drainages. A single population of A. truei was located in the South Saskatchewan River drainage. The range of Hyla regilla was restricted. Most sightings were made near the community of West Glacier, Montana, or at breeding ponds along the Middle Fork, Flathead River, a few km upstream. Chrysemys picta occurred mostly in the lower Lake McDonald valley at elevations between 1000 and 1120 m. A few turtles were seen in the North Fork drainage south of Polebridge, Montana. Thamnophis elegans was more abundant than the similarly distributed T. sirtalis. The widespread introduction of sport fish in park waters may have reduced amphibian populations in some drainages, notably in some of the high elevation valleys east of the Continental Divide.

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