High-elevation wetlands of the Cumberland Mountains physiographic province hold high conservation priority due to their relative rarity, with little knowledge in the literature related to amphibians' use of these high-elevation habitats. Therefore, forest and wildlife managers have few data to use when designing management guidelines for these habitats. We sampled five high-elevation wetlands across Pine and Cumberland mountains along the Virginia-Kentucky border, United States of America to address gaps in knowledge about these habitats and their use by amphibians. We inventoried amphibian diversity at five wetlands using visual encounter and auditory surveys. We used standardized, area-constrained visual encounter surveys that consisted of searches of all available cover objects within a 10 m buffer of the wetland margin to inventory amphibian taxa at each site. We also used automated digital recorders to record auditory call data from anuran (frogs and toads) taxa. We encountered 18 total amphibian species (eight anuran and ten salamander species), recording numerous occurrences of some species, such as Mud Salamanders (Pseudotriton montanus Baird), that have previously been assumed to be absent from high-elevation wetlands in the Appalachian region. Statistical analyses further indicated high disparity in amphibian biodiversity between sites. Our results indicate that these wetlands should be of high conservation concern and should be given priority in regional habitat management efforts.
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