Date Thesis Awarded
Bachelors of Science (BS)
With amphibian populations declining throughout the world, it is crucial to understand their habitat use and movement in order to create appropriate and effective conservation plans. However, most studies do not look at amphibian behaviors during the night, leaving a large portion of amphibian activity understudied. In this study I researched the habitat use and movement of the American Toad, Anaxyrus americanus, which has stable populations and the Fowler’s Toad, Anaxyrus fowerli, which is experiencing population declines. In the first chapter, I found that these species both use habitat similarly at night. However, they use open spaces rather than habitat that is useful to prevent desiccation and to hide as is normally documented in studies. This highlights the difference between nighttime and daytime habitat use. In the second chapter, I found that nighttime movement is affected by weather variables. Weekly weather patterns were more important for large movements away from the roost site, while smaller movements within the night were explained by daily weather variation. These results show the types of movements that are often missed by daily movement studies. It would be beneficial to consider the behavior of amphibian species over the course of a full day to create the most informed conservation plans.
Windorf, Olivia, "Nighttime Habitat Use and Movement of Two Anaxyrus Species in Southeastern Virginia" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 1383.