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Monitoring protocol development and assessment for narrowly endemic toads in Nevada, 2018

June 18, 2019

Several species and subspecies of toads are endemic to small spring systems in the Great Basin, and their restricted ranges and habitat extent make them vulnerable to environmental perturbations. Very little is known about several of these toad populations, so a group of stakeholders including the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Department of Wildlife, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Forest Service, and Oregon State University met to discuss information needs on these populations and to develop a monitoring protocol that would detect population changes over time. In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey implemented the proposed survey protocol, a multi-state occupancy design, for three sites: Dixie Valley, Railroad Valley, and Hot Creek, to evaluate its ease of implementation and effectiveness. We found that the multi-state occupancy protocol worked well in the Dixie Valley and, with some refinement, would likely work well in the Railroad Valley. We suggest that capture-mark-recapture of adults might be a more effective approach at Hot Creek. For most life stages of most populations, detection probabilities were positively related to survey duration up to 20 minutes, and the best time of day to conduct surveys varied by life stage and population. We make population-specific suggestions for the number of surveys and their timing and duration. Annual surveys using the suggested survey protocols will likely allow estimation of trends in the proportion of area of each population existing in different population states (occupied, occupied with evidence of reproduction, and unoccupied) and in most cases can be readily implemented with minimal training or handling of toads.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Monitoring protocol development and assessment for narrowly endemic toads in Nevada, 2018
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191067
Authors Brian J. Halstead, Patrick M. Kleeman, Adam Duarte, Jonathan P. Rose, Kris Urquhart, Chad Mellison, Kevin Guadalupe, Melanie Cota, Rachel Van Horne, Alexa Killion, Kelsey Ruehling
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1067
Index ID ofr20191067
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center