Northeast Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative
Overlook at Shenandoah National Park
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The USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is designed to determine where populations of amphibians are present, to monitor specific apex populations, and to investigate potential causes of amphibian declines, diseases, and malformations. The Northeast Region of ARMI encompasses thirteen states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.
Dr. Evan H. Campbell Grant at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland, coordinates ARMI activities in the Northeast by conducting and developing amphibian research and monitoring projects.
The ARMI program is based on a three-tiered approach, with extensive broad scale sampling, mid-level sampling, and intensive sampling and research at Apex Sites. Information from surveys in the Northeast will be used to determine the proportion of surveyed areas that are occupied by various species of amphibians and to estimate amphibian population sizes and trends over space and time.
Below are other science projects associated with this project.
Date published: March 16, 2018Status: Active
The Challenge: Disease in amphibian populations can have a range of effects, from devastating declines following introduction of a novel pathogen to recurring breakout events on a landscape. Elucidating mechanisms underlying the effects of diseases on amphibian populations is crucial to help managers make appropriate decisions to achieve management goals for amphibians.
Date published: March 15, 2018Status: Active
Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): Understanding Amphibian Populations in the Northeastern United States
Currently, 90 amphibian species are recognized in the Northeast, including 59 species in the Order Caudata (salamanders) and 31 species in the Order Anura (frogs and toads). Almost half of the amphibians in the Northeast are salamanders within the family Plethodontidae. Amphibians are found in all physiographic regions of the Northeast, from sea level to the heights of the Appalachian,...
Date published: December 9, 2016Status: Active
The Challenge: In many National Parks organisms at high elevation are severely threatened and may be sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture gradients in the Appalachians, which may result in species extirpation in high elevation habitats. Many species are specifically adapted to the unusual conditions typical of high elevation sites; risks of extirpation increase as conditions ...
Date published: December 8, 2016Status: Completed
The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) was a collaborative citizen science effort between the US Geological Survey (USGS) and 26 partners (state agencies, universities, and nonprofit organizations) for monitoring calling amphibian populations over much of the eastern and central United States. Initiated in 1997, in response to needs set forth by the Declining Amphibian...
Below are publications associated with this project.
Effects of host species and environment on the skin microbiome of Plethodontid salamanders
The amphibian skin microbiome is recognized for its role in defence against pathogens, including the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Yet, we have little understanding of evolutionary and ecological processes that structure these communities, especially for salamanders and closely related species. We...Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.
Imperfect pathogen detection from non-invasive skin swabs biases disease inference
1. Conservation managers rely on accurate estimates of disease parameters, such as pathogen prevalence and infection intensity, to assess disease status of a host population. However, these disease metrics may be biased if low-level infection intensities are missed by sampling methods or laboratory diagnostic tests. These false negatives...DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Longo, Ana; Che-Castaldo, Christian; Zamudio, Kelly R.; Lips, Karen
Range position and climate sensitivity: The structure of among-population demographic responses to climatic variation
Species’ distributions will respond to climate change based on the relationship between local demographic processes and climate and how this relationship varies based on range position. A rarely tested demographic prediction is that populations at the extremes of a species’ climate envelope (e.g., populations in areas with the highest mean annual...Amburgey, Staci M.; Miller, David A. W.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Rittenhouse, Tracy A. G.; Benard, Michael F.; Richardson, Jonathan L.; Urban, Mark C.; Hughson, Ward; Brand, Adrianne B,; Davis, Christopher J.; Hardin, Carmen R.; Paton, Peter W. C.; Raithel, Christopher J.; Relyea, Rick A.; Scott, A. Floyd; Skelly, David K.; Skidds, Dennis E.; Smith, Charles K.; Werner, Earl E.
Heterogeneous responses of temperate-zone amphibian populations to climate change complicates conservation planning
The pervasive and unabated nature of global amphibian declines suggests common demographic responses to a given driver, and quantification of major drivers and responses could inform broad-scale conservation actions. We explored the influence of climate on demographic parameters (i.e., changes in the probabilities of survival and recruitment)...Muths, Erin L.; Chambert, Thierry A.; Schmidt, B. R.; Miller, D. A. W.; Hossack, Blake R.; Joly, P.; Grolet, O.; Green, D. M.; Pilliod, David S.; Cheylan, M.; Fisher, Robert N.; McCaffery, R. M.; Adams, M. J.; Palen, W. J.; Arntzen, J. W.; Garwood, J.; Fellers, Gary M.; Thirion, J. M.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Besnard, A.
Design tradeoffs in long-term research for stream salamanders
Long-term research programs can benefit from early and periodic evaluation of their ability to meet stated objectives. In particular, consideration of the spatial allocation of effort is key. We sampled 4 species of stream salamanders intensively for 2 years (2010–2011) in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland, USA to...Brand, Adrianne B,; Grant, Evan H. Campbell
Evolutionary dynamics of an expressed MHC class IIβ locus in the Ranidae (Anura) uncovered by genome walking and high-throughput amplicon sequencing
The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a genomic region encoding immune loci that are important and frequently used markers in studies of adaptive genetic variation and disease resistance. Given the primary role of infectious diseases in contributing to global amphibian declines, we characterized the hypervariable exon 2 and flanking...Mulder, Kevin P.; Cortazar-Chinarro, Maria; Harris, D. James; Crottini, Angelica; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Fleischer, Robert C.; Savage, Anna E.
Integrating count and detection–nondetection data to model population dynamics
There is increasing need for methods that integrate multiple data types into a single analytical framework as the spatial and temporal scale of ecological research expands. Current work on this topic primarily focuses on combining capture–recapture data from marked individuals with other data types into integrated population models. Yet, studies...Zipkin, Elise F.; Rossman, Sam; Yackulic, Charles B.; Wiens, David; Thorson, James T.; Davis, Raymond J.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell
Antifungal bacteria on woodland salamander skin exhibit high taxonomic diversity and geographic variability
Diverse bacteria inhabit amphibian skin; some of those bacteria inhibit growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Yet there has been no systematic survey of anti-B. dendrobatidis bacteria across localities, species, and elevations. This is important given geographic and taxonomic variations in amphibian susceptibility to B....Muletz-Wolz, Carly R.; DiRenzo, Graziella V.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Lips, Karen R.
Using decision analysis to support proactive management of emerging infectious wildlife diseases
Despite calls for improved responses to emerging infectious diseases in wildlife, management is seldom considered until a disease has been detected in affected populations. Reactive approaches may limit the potential for control and increase total response costs. An alternative, proactive management framework can identify immediate actions that...Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn
Detecting spatial ontogenetic niche shifts in complex dendritic ecological networks
Ontogenetic niche shifts (ONS) are important drivers of population and community dynamics, but they can be difficult to identify for species with prolonged larval or juvenile stages, or for species that inhabit continuous habitats. Most studies of ONS focus on single transitions among discrete habitat patches at local scales. However, for species...Fields, William R.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Lowe, Winsor H.
Nocturnal insect availability in bottomland hardwood forests managed for wildlife in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Silviculture used to alter forest structure and thereby enhance wildlife habitat has been advocated for bottomland hardwood forest management on public conservation lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although some songbirds respond positively to these management actions to attain desired forest conditions for wildlife, the response of other...Ketzler, Loraine P.; Christopher Comer; Twedt, Daniel J.
Climate-mediated competition in a high-elevation salamander community
The distribution of the federally endangered Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is presumed to be limited by competition with the Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus). In particular, the current distribution of P. shenandoah is understood to be restricted to warmer and drier habitats because of interspecific interactions. These...Dallalio, Eric A.; Brand, Adrianne B,; Campbell Grant, Evan H.
Below are data or web applications associated with this project.
Date published: February 6, 2018
Range position and climate sensitivity: the structure of among-population demographic responses to climatic variation
This data set is comprised of four files related to the counts of wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) egg masses in the Northeast United States and climatic information derived for the count locations. One file contains data for the counts at all locations, the other files contain derived temperature and precipitation data for models used in the published manuscript.
Date published: February 8, 2017
North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) anuran detection data from the eastern and central United States (1994-2015)
The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) was a collaborative citizen science effort between the US Geological Survey (USGS) and 26 Partners (state agencies, universities, and nonprofits) for monitoring calling amphibian populations over much of the eastern and central United States.
Below are news stories associated with this project.
Date published: May 23, 2016
New Research Confirms Continued, Unabated and Large-Scale Amphibian Declines: Local Action Key to Reversing Losses
New U.S. Geological Survey-led research suggests that even though amphibians are severely declining worldwide, there is no smoking gun – and thus no simple solution – to halting or reversing these declines.
Date published: February 22, 2016
The areas of the United States that are most at risk of a potentially invasive salamander fungus are the Pacific coast, the southern Appalachian Mountains and the mid-Atlantic regions, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey report.
Date published: January 20, 2016
A deadly fungus causing population crashes in wild European salamanders could emerge in the United States and threaten already declining amphibians here, according to a report released today by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Below are FAQ associated with this project.
In response to indications of worldwide declines in amphibian populations, Interior Department agencies were directed to initiate a national program of amphibian monitoring, research, and conservation. There is an urgent need to determine the scope and severity of the problem and to investigate causes. As a result, the USGS...Read Full Answer
Malformed frogs first came to national attention in 1995. Since that time, reports of malformed frogs and other amphibians have increased dramatically. Malformations have been reported in at least 44 states and in more than 50 species of frogs and toads. Multiple limbs, missing limbs, and facial abnormalities are the main...Read Full Answer
Research suggests that even though amphibians are severely declining worldwide, there is no smoking gun – and thus no simple solution – to halting or reversing these declines.
Though every region in the United States has suffered amphibian declines, threats differ among regions. They include: