Successful long-term monitoring programs of amphibians require the ability to distinguish natural population fluctuations from human-caused declines. Because recruitment in populations of pond-breeding amphibians depends on optimal environmental conditions of rainfall and hydroperiod, extended periods of drought may have adverse effects. We examined the breeding biology of Ambystoma cingulatum at a breeding site in northwestern Florida for four consecutive seasons (1999–2002) during and immediately following a drought. The number of immigrating adults declined steadily during this period, and larvae and metamorphs were not observed. Potential explanations for the observed decline in number of adults include disruption of migration as a result of insufficient rainfall during the breeding season and cumulative rainfall deficit, lack of juvenile recruitment, and adult attrition. We believe reduction in number of adults is best explained as attrition of adults without recruitment of juveniles.
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