Agricultural areas are characterized by the replacement of native vegetation with plant crops or forage species. These create radically modified habitats for anurans, but in some areas frogs persist despite these changes. We undertook a three-year mark–recapture study of five breeding populations of the burrowing frog Heleioporus albopunctatus in the West Australian wheatbelt to quantify the variance in demographic parameters of a frog species in a highly modified, agricultural landscape. Recapture rates of frogs marked by toe-clipping were low and ranged from 0.05 to 0.45. Mark–recapture models estimated adult survival as ranging from 0.34 to 1. Survival was constant across years for four of five populations. One site exhibited both sex-biased and temporal variation in survival. Sex ratios and estimated population sizes fluctuated greatly between years. Available data on demography suggest H. albopunctatus is persisting in modified habitats.
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Vol. 2011 • No. 3