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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AMPHIBIAN MONITORING OF CEAP WETLANDS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To access the impact of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)implemented wetland projects in the Mid-Atlantic region on the populations and activities of amphibian.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The presence or absence of amphibians in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) implemented wetland projects will be accessed via a variety of techniques. These will include daytime vocalizations, egg mass counts, larval dipnet surveys, minnow trap surveys, and visual encounter surveys (VES) of adults and larvae. This will involve field visits to each site during appropriate seasons to conduct egg mass, larval, and VES. Frog loggers will be used to record calling male frogs.


3.Progress Report

This research relates to the inhouse objective: To obtain knowledge and develop tools that will enable planners, decision makers, and producers to more effectively manage, conserve, and protect water resources.

The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) and natural wetland sites in the Virginia and North Carolina portion of the mid-Atlantic study were a mixed lot of dried depressions, partially filled depressions, Delmarva Bays, and several that will not hold water except for very wet periods but dry quickly. It was possible to obtain amphibian data from only 5 of the 16 wetlands sampled in Virginia and North Carolina. One was an agricultural depression, one was a restored site, and 3 were natural sites. Because dry depressions afford no data on the amphibian community, the effective sample size for this study will be less than the 48 we had hoped to study. The 5 sites in Maryland studied in late May ranged from shallow depressions in plowed fields to a Delmarva Bay protected by The Nature Conservancy. The natural and restored sites yielded the most species. Some of the southern sites are not directly comparable to other wetland depressions on the Delmarva. These sites may work out adequately for the plant and physical science components of this study but they appear to have limited value for the amphibian portion of the study. It appears that the restored wetlands are the best sites for amphibians with the natural sites following closely behind in value. A more complete evaluation awaits the completion of the remaining sites.

The project is monitored via planning meetings and site selection visits.


Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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