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Late season movement and habitat use by Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) in a large reservoir in Oregon, USA

April 6, 2022

Dam-created reservoirs are common landscape features that can provide habitat for amphibians, but their water level fluctuations and nonnative predators can differ markedly from more natural habitats. We compared fall movement and habitat use by the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa) in the reservoir pool with nearby river and pond habitats at Crane Prairie Reservoir in central Oregon, USA. Movement rate of frogs in the river and ponds declined as water temperature cooled. Reservoir frogs moved further than those in the river or ponds, and their movement rate increased as water temperature cooled. Most frog locations across all site types were in aquatic herbaceous vegetation. We did not find shifts in habitat between early and late fall. Increased movement and the lack of habitat shift in our reservoir frogs deeper into fall contrast with R. pretiosa in non-reservoir sites in this study and others. Consistent use of vegetation by reservoir frogs throughout the fall could indicate cover use in presence of fish predators. Our study provides additional detail on the range of habitats used by R. pretiosa in fall and suggests areas for further work to improve survival in constructed sites with abundant fish predators.