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Title: Movements and habitat use of Yosemite toads (Anaxyrus (formerly Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra National Forest, California

Author: Liang, Christina T.;

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Herpetology 47(4): 555-564

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The Yosemite Toad (Anaxyrus (Bufo) canorus) is a high-elevation species endemic to the central Sierra Nevada mountain range in California whose populations are in decline. There is limited information on their terrestrial movement and habitat use, which impairs our understanding of the ecology and habitat needs of this sensitive species. I present radio-tracking data collected from 35 adult toads in the Sierra National Forest during daylight hours in the late spring and summer of 2007–2009. Movements, microsite cover type, and terrestrial habitat are analyzed and interpreted with regard to life-history characteristics of A. canorus. Adult toads moved a mean distance of 270 m from aquatic breeding sites, and the maximum distance recorded was 1.26 km. Females moved significantly longer distances than did males and had a larger home range. Distance traveled was related to ordinal day as well as the interaction between day and sex. Adult A. canorus used terrestrial environments extensively and were found in the mixed-conifer forest in dry habitat. Burrows were the most commonly used cover type, but other protective cover such as logs, rocks, and tree stumps were also used. The locations occupied by adult toads in the terrestrial environment were structurally different than other surrounding areas; occupied sites had less canopy cover and fewer woody species than did unoccupied sites. The results of this study have implications for identifying population processes such as metapopulation dynamics, as well as for management purposes such as identifying sensitive habitat and establishing protective areas for A. canorus in the terrestrial environment.

Keywords: Radio-tracking, Sierra Nevada, Terrestrial habitat, Upland habitat, Yosemite toad

Publication Notes:

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Liang, Christina T. 2013. Movements and habitat use of Yosemite toads (Anaxyrus (formerly Bufo) canorus) in the Sierra National Forest, California. Journal of Herpetology 47(4):555-564.


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