Effect of Cattle Exclosures on Columbia Spotted Frog Abundance

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Livestock grazing is a major use of public lands across the western United States but there is concern that grazing might have negative effects on sensitive species like the Columbia spotted frog.

Livestock grazing is a major use of public lands across the western United States but there is concern that grazing might have negative effects on sensitive species like the Columbia spotted frog. USGS scientists conducted a long term study where they manipulated cattle access to ponds to assess effects on frogs. They found a small positive effect of excluding cattle but the effect diminished over time and was too minor to offset an overall decline in frogs on the study area. The results suggest that excluding cattle from a portion of ponds can give a temporary benefit to frogs but are also consistent with a hypothesis that grazing can be beneficial.

Adams, M.J., Pearl, C.A., Chambert, T., McCreary, B., Galvan, S.K., Rowe, J.C., 2018, Effect of cattle exclosures on Columbia spotted frog abundance: Wetlands Ecology and Management, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-018-9596-9.

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Date published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

FRESC Amphibian Research Team

The Amphibian Research Lab focuses on amphibian conservation issues. We are currently addressing issues such as invasive species, disease, land use change, and long-term monitoring design for amphibians in North America. We use a combination of comparative surveys and manipulative experiments to understand the factors affecting amphibian distribution and abundance.