COMPARING TWO TRANSECT METHODS FOR THE DETECTION OF RED-BACKED SALAMANDERS

Authors

  • Jay D. McGhee Department of Natural Sciences, Northwest Missouri State
  • Michael D. Killian Department of Biological Sciences, University of Mary Washington

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/jnah.vi1.11920

Abstract

Typical monitoring methods for terrestrial salamanders are subject to extensive variation, driven by the environmental conditions in effect during sampling. As rigorous salamander sampling methods are needed to monitor populations, there is a need to assess commonly used methods under a variety of environmental conditions. We hypothesized that of two methods used for capturing red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), leaf litter searches and natural cover searches, the latter would perform best for adults and in situations where moisture was limiting. We compared captures for paired transect surveys: one a leaf litter search and the other a natural cover search, relative to age, proximity to streams, rainfall events, vapor pressure deficit and season. We found that natural cover searches outperformed leaf litter searches when conducted away from streams and in the absence of rainfall. Natural cover searches performed better regardless of vapor pressure deficit and season (spring or fall). Natural cover searches detected more adults than juveniles. We recommend natural cover searches as more efficient than leaf litter searches.

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Published

2016-07-05

How to Cite

McGhee, J. D., & Killian, M. D. (2016). COMPARING TWO TRANSECT METHODS FOR THE DETECTION OF RED-BACKED SALAMANDERS. Journal of North American Herpetology, (1), 27–30. https://doi.org/10.17161/jnah.vi1.11920