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Fact Sheet 2011–3056

Amphibian Monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

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Abstract

Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.


First posted May 23, 2011

For additional information contact:

USGS National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Waddle, H., 2011, Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3056, 4 p.



Contents

Introduction

The Atchafalaya Basin

Methods for Monitoring

The Amphibians of the Atchafalaya Basin

Outcome of Monitoring Efforts

Other Lines of Research

References

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