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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Reptile And Amphibian Monitoring At Sandy Bottom Preserve

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The southern Appalachian Mountains are an exceptionally biodiverse region with the highest globally for salamander species. However, many of these species are endangered, threatened, or of special concern, with habitat loss being a major contributor to population declines. Sandy Bottom Preserve is a wetland complex in the French Broad River floodplain near Asheville, North Carolina. A survey of reptile and amphibian populations at this site has not been taken since 2004, therefore the objective of this research is to establish a current herpfauna inventory. This sensitive habitat is a known location for amphibian species of special concern including mole salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum) and four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylum scutatum), and it serves as a breeding site for many others. There are also historical records for the presence of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), a federally threatened species. North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission personnel have conveyed concern regarding the potential widening of Highway 191, which separates Sandy Bottom from the French Broad River. The development of this road could impact local herpfauna populations. Therefore, establishment of an updated, systematically obtained record of diversity is critical before construction is proposed. Methods of data collection include the use of drift fences with pitfall traps and coverboards, both common and effective tools used in ecological monitoring. The monitoring schedule is largely dependent on weather conditions, with pitfall traps opened and checked every 24 hours during rain events and cover boards checked a minimum of 6 times per month. The study period spans from September 2016 to March 2017. This research will provide an updated inventory of herpfauna in this ecosystem for the monitoring of rare or threatened species and those at the edge of their known ranges.

Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am PDT
103 Rhoades-Robinson Hall

Attendees (3)