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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pesticides and Amphibian Declines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA

Authors
item Cowman, Deborah - TEXAS A&M
item Sparling, Donald - SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV
item Fellers, Gary - USGS
item Bickham, John - TEXAS A&M
item McConnell, Laura
item Lacher, Thomas - CONSERVATION INTL

Submitted to: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 16, 2005
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Citation: Cowman, D.F., Sparling, D.W., Fellers, G.M., Bickham, J.W., Mcconnell, L.L., Lacher, T.E. 2005. Pesticides and amphibian declines in the sierra nevada mountains, ca. [abstract]. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Tampa, Florida, July 2005. p. 29

Technical Abstract: Previous studies have shown that pesticides from the Central Valley of CA enter the Sierra Nevada ecosystem through aerial deposition in snow and rain, and that surface concentrations of certain pesticides are within an order of magnitude of the 96hr LC50 of amphibians. Pseudacris regilla hatchlings were translocated (with controls in each park) and placed in cages in sites located in Lassen, Yosemite, and Sequoia National Parks. Tadpoles were sampled at 28 days and at metamorphosis. Preliminary results show 1) significant difference (p=0.04) in DNA damage in metamorphs between Lassen (reference site) and the other two parks; 2) greater survivorship to metamorphosis at Lassen; 3) hindlimb deformities (brachymelia) in 25% of animals sampled at Yosemite and 5% at the other two parks; and 4) residues of various pesticides such as chlorphyrifos, endosulfan, and malathion in frog tissues. Discovery of detrimental effects in Pacific chorus frog larvae and metamorphs may help in the evaluation of amphibian declines in the Sierra Nevadas.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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