SREL Reprint #0362




Determination of Anuran Terrestrial Activity Pattern by a Drift Fence Method

J. Whitfield Gibbons and David H. Bennett



Terrestrial activity of 16 species of frogs in South Carolina was correlated with season, environmental temperatures and the incidence and amount of precipitation.  Terrestrial drift fences and pitfall traps encircling two aquatic habitats were used to monitor movements to and from local habitats.  Ranidae (primarily Rana pipiens) were most abundant at a permanently aquatic habitat whereas Bufonidae and Pelobatidae (mainly Bufo terrestris and Scaphiopus holbrooks) were captured more frequently at a temporary pond.  Numbers of individuals captured during each month showed fairly consistent progressions from highs in spring to lows in autumn.  Activity was positively correlated with the incidence of precipitation, and the number of captures increased with the amount of rainfall.  Anuran activity decreased noticeably during periods of low temperature.  The use of a complete enclosure system in conjunction with pitfall traps is discussed and considered to be a valuable method for studying population dynamics of species which migrate to localized habitats.


SREL Reprint #0362

Gibbons, J.W. and D.H. Bennett. 1974. Determination of anuran terrestrial activity patterns by a drift fence method. Copeia 1974:236-243.

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