There has been increased attention on amphibian declines over the past two decades, and many researchers agree that the primary factor responsible for this decline is habitat fragmentation and degradation. A number of studies have begun to address the impacts of forest management practices on amphibian populations; however, information about behavioral responses of amphibians to forestry practices such as logging is still needed. Using laboratory experiments, I investigated the behavioral choices of Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamanders (Eurycea wilderae) when presented with dry and moist environments (representing logged and unlogged forests) both with and without predators. When no predator was present, E. wilderae preferred a moist environment. When a predator was present in the moist environment, the adult E. wilderae preferred to remain in the less suitable dry environment, while juveniles displayed no clear choice. After logging, E. wilderae are faced with a decision between two adverse environments, with either decision likely resulting in a local population decline. Determining amphibians’ behavioral responses to forest management practices is an important step to developing management plans for forest-dependent species.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1