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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Feasibility of Reintroducing Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) to Their Historic Range

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AUTHORS: Susan F. Lawrence, Richard B. King - Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) are found throughout the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. Although locally common in southern Illinois, Spring Peeper populations are highly fragmented in northeastern Illinois due to habitat loss and degradation. Reintroduction of Spring Peepers to historic sites in northeastern Illinois could help maintain genetic variation and ensure a stochastic event does not eliminate these populations. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of reintroduction by measuring demographic parameters (clutch size, tadpole survival), evaluate the disease status at source and recipient sites, and measure habitat characteristics at sites with and without Spring Peepers. Clutch size averaged 239 (range 90-541, n = 6) and tadpole survival differed significantly among ponds and between years, ranging from 9-93%. These demographic parameters will be used to build a population viability analysis (PVA) to measure the impact egg and tadpole removal has on the source population. Batrachochytrium dedrobatidis was detected in Spring Peepers at the source site and other amphibian species at the recipient site. Habitat characteristics were compared at 16 sites throughout five counties in northeastern Illinois; eight sites with Spring Peepers and eight without. Pond size, depth, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, salinity, and water temperature differed little between sites with and without Spring Peepers. Emergent vegetation, measured in June, was significantly greater at sites with Spring Peepers. Land managers should consider disease status and the high variability in tadpole survival rate in deciding whether to reintroduce Spring Peepers.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer