Annual Movement Patterns and Microhabitat Use of Two Anaxyrus Species in the Southeastern Coastal Plain
Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Science (BS)
Amphibian populations have declined precipitously in recent decades, and effective management plans are needed to combat this ongoing decline. However, most amphibian management plans tend to be extremely generalized, and little research has explored species-specific responses of amphibians to microhabitat or climatic variables. Using a relatively novel tracking method, I examine the annual microhabitat and movement of two Anaxyrus species (A. americanus and A. fowleri), one of which has suffered population declines, for the purpose of informing management practices regarding these species. My study found large differences in microhabitat use between the two species. A. americanus primarily utilize microhabitats associated with forest, while A. fowleri utilize a variety of microhabitats, some of which are never used by A. americanus. Additionally, A. fowleri are more mobile and cover more distance on average than A. americanus, though both species tend to move greater distances at higher temperatures, higher cumulative 3-day rainfall, and earlier in the year. Overall, my results indicate the need for management practices that are tailored to conserve species-specific habitat requirements.
Check, Courtney, "Annual Movement Patterns and Microhabitat Use of Two Anaxyrus Species in the Southeastern Coastal Plain" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1289.
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