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Accession Number 5004969

Title Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in the Northeast United States

Project Description The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) was established to: 1) initiate long-term

monitoring to determine the status and trends of amphibian populations on Department of Interior

lands, and 2) conduct research into causes of amphibian declines, diseases, and malformations.

In the Northeast region, we are conducting intensive population monitoring and research on

terrestrial and streamside salamanders and vernal pool amphibians at the Patuxent Research

Refuge, Acadia, Shenandoah, and Rock Creek Parks. Some of the specific intensive studies

include: a) a capture-recapture (spot pattern recognition) survey of spotted salamanders using a

drift fence-coverboard array to estimate egg, juvenile, and adult populations at a Patuxent/USDA

site, b) four-toed salamander surveys at Acadia, c) wood frog and spotted salamander egg mass

counts and estimates at vernal pool sites, d) streamside salamander population estimates and

monitoring at stream sites, e) mercury levels in northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea

bislineata) at Acadia, f) continued monitoring of effects of a prescribed burn on terrestrial

salamanders at Shenandoah, g) continued monitoring of effects of coverboard addition on

terrestrial salamander population estimates, and h) creation of amphibian distribution maps for

Acadia and Shenandoah National Parks. At the regional level, we are partnering with 14 USFWS

Refuges and 4 National Parks to conduct extensive monitoring of: 1) streamside salamanders

using transect (removal estimation) and quadrat techniques, and 2) vernal pool amphibians (wood

frogs, spotted salamanders) using egg mass counts and double observer estimation techniques.

Refuge, Park, and University biologists are provided training and equipment to conduct the

surveys. In 2002, we are conducting a NAAMP (North American Amphibian Monitoring Program)

validation project, determining species detectability for the calling survey by using repeated visits

to NAAMP routes within each sampling window. We are also conducting a storm water pond

project, studying amphibian use of storm water detention ponds (near highway, industrial and

residential settings) and metal levels in bullfrog and green frog tadpoles utilizing those ponds.

Additional NE ARMI contractual or cooperative projects include: A) conducting streamside

salamander surveys in conjunction with state stream survey efforts (e.g., Maryland Biological

Stream Survey and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Quality stream survey), and B)

conducting a retrospective study repeating a calling survey conducted initially in the 1970s in NH,

VT, and NY (Dr. James Gibbs, SUNY). During all surveys, we record amphibian species, age,

sex, snout-vent and total length, and document malformations or diseases. We send malformed or

diseased amphibians to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (Dr. David Green) and report

findings to the USGS North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM)

web site.

Keywords amphibian, capture-recapture, database management, disease, malformation, monitoring, multiple

observers, population estimation, research, spotted salamander, streamside salamanders, survey

methodology, vernal pool, wood frog,

Principal Robin E Jung, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: robin_jung@usgs.gov; Karen C Rice,

Investigators USGS Water Resources Division: kcrice@usgs.gov;

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