Survey of Winter-Breeding Amphibian Species in the Peninsula
   Kevin Enge, FWC

Abstract: Populations of 5 winter-breeding amphibian species that are SGCN have declined in peninsular Florida. Some of these species have distributional information gaps and lack current occurrence information. Anecdotal observations and limited surveys indicate that many of these species have been extirpated from historical localities, and the current occurrence of some of these species is unknown in the peninsula. This project will have three main objectives 1) To determine population trends of 5 winter-breeding amphibian species that are SGCN.2) To determine the current occurrence of these 5 species on public lands in the northern peninsula.3.) To determine possible reasons for the extirpation or decline of populations of these 5 species. All known localities in northern peninsular Florida for the 5 target amphibian species will be compiled from electronic, literature, and anecdotal sources. All known breeding ponds and potential new ponds (identified using GIS analysis and potential habitat maps) will be surveyed during at least l of 3 winter survey seasons. Survey methods will consist of auditory surveys for calling anurans and dipnet surveys for larvae from January through June. All amphibian, reptile, and fish species at a pond will be recorded, along with habitat information, and entered into a Microsoft Access 2007 database. Although these surveys are intended only to record presence or absence of a species at a site, the number of amphibian larvae or calling frogs of the 5 target species will be recorded per unit effort, which will give an index of population size. In an attempt to determine reasons for extirpation of historic populations, old aerial photographs will be analyzed for habitat or land-use changes. Historic rainfall patterns will be analyzed to determine if climate change is responsible for population declines. Many of the surveys will be conducted in collaboration with land managers and biologists on public lands. Existing data will be analyzed to identify under-surveyed public lands, and key people in various agencies will be contacted to determine priority lands for future survey efforts. A final report will be prepared summarizing survey results for all target species and possible reasons for population declines.

Award Matching Funds Total
$40,119.00 $28,378.00 $68,497.00

Year Funded Starting Date Ending Date
2009 1/1/2010 12/31/2014

Location: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union