First Estimates of the Probability of Survival in a Small-bodied, High Elevation Frog or, how Historical Data Can Be Useful

Authors: Erin Muths; R Scherer; Staci M Amburgey; T Matthews; A Spencer; P S Corn
Contribution Number: 542

In an era of shrinking budgets yet increasing demands for conservation, the value of existing (i.e., historical) data is elevated. Lengthy time-series on common, or previously common, species are particularly valuable and may be available only through the use of historical information. We provide first estimates of the probability of survival and longevity (0.67-0.79; 5-7 yr) for a subalpine population of a small-bodied, ostensibly common amphibian, the boreal chorus frog, using historical data and contemporary, hypothesis-driven information-theoretic analyses. We also test a priori hypotheses about the effects of color morph (as suggested by early reports) and of drought (as suggested by recent climate predictions on survival). Using robust mark-recapture models, we find some support for early hypotheses regarding the effect of color on survival, but we find no effect of drought. The congruence between early findings and our analyses highlights the usefulness of historical information by providing raw data for contemporary analyses and context for conservation and management decisions.

Publication details
Published Date: 2016-06
Outlet/Publisher: Canadian Journal of Zoology, doi: 10.1139/cjz-2016-0024
Media Format: .PDF

ARMI Organizational Units:
Rocky Mountains, Southern - Biology
Climate Change; Monitoring and Population Ecology; Species and their Ecology
Place Names:
amphibians; ARMI; climate; demographics; ecology; life history; management; mark-recapture; population; research; survival
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