Toad researchers are "hoppy" to start up their 2019 field season

Eight people in field clothes jump into the air at the same time

Detailed Description

A team from the WERC San Diego Field Station traveled to the Sierra National Forest, CA this past week to prepare their field site for season two of an exciting study of federally threatened Yosemite toads. This is a collaborative project with the U.S. Forest Service, and together we are hoping to learn more about how to effectively mitigate road impacts for pond breeding amphibians and other small animals that may be subject to vehicle strikes when crossing roads to reach critical habitat. For this study, an elevated road segment was installed on a forest road with high rates of vehicle-related toad mortality. Different types of barrier fencing were also installed along the road acting to funnel animals toward the crossing. This study uses 20+ cameras (the majority of which are HALT camera systems) to determine how toads travel along different types of barrier fencing leading to the bridge or “toad road” as we call it. Our hope is to discover which structures and strategies provide these animals with the best opportunity for successful crossing.

The structure in this photo is the elevated road segment, which was buried under ~10 feet of snow this winter. Starting field work this year involved some site maintenance to ensure the barriers were tip top and to re-install cameras for the season. As you can see, both USGS and USFS crews are “hoppy” to kick off season two of this awesome study!

Left to right: Stephanie Barnes (USFS), Brittany Idrizaj (USGS), Jennifer Kingston (USGS), Devin Adsit-Morris (USGS), Cheryl Brehme (USGS), Cassie Vaughan (USFS), Wesley Burton (USFS), and Tristan Edgarian (USGS).


Image Dimensions: 1334 x 750

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US