Written Paper

Interactions between climate, beaver activity, and pond occupancy by the cold-adapted mink frog in New York State, USA  [2009]

Popescu, Viorel D. Gibbs, James P.

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Mink frogs (Rana septentrionalis) are cold-adapted, climate-sensitive amphibians occurring above the 43rd parallel in North America. We conducted repeated night call surveys at 46 ponds near the southern edge of the species' range to collect presence/absence data and used information-theoretic models to relate pond occupancy to historical climate and habitat factors. Mink frog occurrence was strongly and positively influenced by pond size (>1.5ha) and the presence of beavers (Castor canadensis). Presence of calling mink frogs decreased sharply at sites with historical mean July air temperatures >19.5°C. Our results suggest that predicted changes in temperature over the next century might reduce the range of mink frogs in New York, yet we hypothesize that any such reductions could be mitigated by generation of suitable breeding habitat associated with future expansion of beaver populations.

From the journal

Biological conservation

ISSN : 0006-3207