SREL Reprint #2769




A Comparison of Aquatic Drift Fences with Traditional Funnel Trapping as a Quantitative Method for Sampling Amphibians

John D. Willson1,2 and Michael E. Dorcas1

1Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035, USA
2Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina 29802, USA

Introduction: Recent reports of amphibian declines have sparked increased efforts to inventory and monitor amphibian populations worldwide (Keisecker et al. 2001; Pechmann and Wilbur 1994). Standard techniques for the quantitative inventory and monitoring of amphibian populations include systematic observations, automated recording of calling anurans, drift fences with pitfall traps, and aquatic funnel trapping of amphibian larvae (Heyer et al. 1994). Terrestrial drift fence arrays with pitfall traps are an effective way to sample general species richness of amphibians and can be especially effective at detecting rare or cryptic species (Corn 1994; Gibbons and Semlitsch 1982). Drift fences intercept the movements of animals and guide them into traps generally increasing capture rates (Corn 1994). Aquatic drift fences or net leads, have been effectively used to increase trap capture rates for fish (Hubert 1983) and turtles (Vogt 1980); however, they have seldom been used to sample aquatic amphibian species and life stages (but see Beuch and Egeland 2002; Enge 1997a).

SREL Reprint #2769

Willson, J. D. and M. E. Dorcas. 2004. A comparison of aquatic drift fences with traditional funnel trapping as a quantitative method for sampling amphibians. Herpetological Review 35:148-150.

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