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1 June 2013 Quantifiable Long-term Monitoring on Parks and Nature Preserves
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Herpetofauna have declined globally, and monitoring is a useful approach to document local and long-term changes. However, monitoring efforts often fail to account for detectability or follow standardized protocols. We performed a case study at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC to model occupancy of focal species and demonstrate a replicable long-term protocol useful to parks and nature preserves. From March 2010 to 2011, we documented occupancy of Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander), Plethodon cinereus (Red-backed Salamander), Carphophis amoenus (Eastern Worm Snake), and Diadophis punctatus (Ringneck Snake) at coverboard sites and estimated breeding female Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) abundance via dependent double-observer egg-mass counts in ephemeral pools. Temperature influenced detection of both Marbled and Red-backed Salamanders. Based on egg-mass data, we estimated Spotted Salamander abundance to be between 21 and 44 breeding females. We detected 43 of 53 previously documented herpetofauna species. Our approach demonstrates a monitoring protocol that accounts for factors that influence species detection and is replicable by parks or nature preserves with limited resources.

Sharon Becker, Christopher Moorman, Christopher DePerno, and Theodore Simons "Quantifiable Long-term Monitoring on Parks and Nature Preserves," Southeastern Naturalist 12(2), 339-352, (1 June 2013).
Published: 1 June 2013

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