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Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks

Open-File Report 2006-1132

The National Park Service has requested that we remove OFR 2006-1132 due to concerns about public release of sensitive information about the presence of certain reptiles and amphibians. Their primary concern is that reptile enthusiasts could use these reports to locate and illegally collect highly sought after species for the pet and hobby trade.
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Abstract

In fiscal year 2000, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a nationwide program to inventory vertebrates andvascular plants within the National Parks, and an inventory plan was developed for the 19 park units in the Southern Colorado Plateau Inventory & Monitoring Network. We surveyed 12 parks in this network for reptiles and amphibians between 2001 and 2003. The overall goals of our herpetofaunal inventories were to document 90% of the species present, identify park-specific species of special concern, and, based on the inventory results, make recommendations for the development of an effective monitoring program. We used the following standardized herpetological methods to complete the inventories: time-area constrained searches, visual encounter ('general') surveys, and nighttime road cruising. We also recorded incidental species sightings and surveyed existing literature and museum specimen databases. We found 50 amphibian and reptile species during fieldwork. These included 1 salamander, 11 anurans, 21 lizards, and 17 snakes. Literature reviews, museum specimen data records, and personal communications with NPS staff added an additional eight species, including one salamander, one turtle, one lizard, and five snakes. It was necessary to use a variety of methods to detect all species in each park. Randomly-generated 1-ha time-area constrained searches and night drives produced the fewest species and individuals of all the methods, while general surveys and randomly-generated 10-ha time-areas constrained searches produced the most. Inventory completeness was likely compromised by a severe drought across the region during our surveys. In most parks we did not come close to the goal of detecting 90% of the expected species present; however, we did document several species range extensions. Effective monitoring programs for herpetofauna on the Colorado Plateau should use a variety of methods to detect species, and focus on taxa-specific methods. Randomly-generated plots must take into account microhabitat and aquatic features to be effective at sampling for herpetofauna.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Inventory of Amphibians and Reptiles in Southern Colorado Plateau National Parks
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2006-1132
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2006
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Southwest Biological Science Center
Description:
vi, 186 p. *The National Park Service has requested that we remove OFR 2006-1132 due to concerns about public release of sensitive information about the presence of certain reptiles and amphibians. Their primary concern is that reptile enthusiasts could use these reports to locate and illegally collect highly sought after species for the pet and hobby trade*