California Red-Legged Frogs in Point Reyes coastal dune drainages (2015)

Authors: Brian J Halstead; Patrick M Kleeman


California Red-legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) are typically regarded as inhabitants of permanent ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams, but their ecology in other habitats, including coastal dunes, remains obscure. To avoid and minimize potential negative effects of dune restoration activities, we studied the spatial ecology, habitat selection, and survival of California Red-legged Frogs in coastal dune drainages at Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Frogs remained in their home drainages throughout the summer, and, with some notable exceptions, most remained close to water. Home ranges of California Red-legged Frogs in dunes were generally small, and they selected areas near water with logs that served as refuge from environmental extremes and predators. California Red-legged Frogs avoided invasive dune plants, and had high survival rates in coastal dune drainages. Whether frogs will use dunes dominated by native species in the same manner as they use dunes degraded by non-native plants, and whether a more dynamic dune ecosystem will maintain the microhabitats necessary to support California Red-legged Frog populations in the future remains unknown.

Publication details
Published Date: 2017-05-22
Outlet/Publisher: USGS - Science Base
Media Format: URL

ARMI Organizational Units:
Southwest, Northern California - Biology
Species and their Ecology
Place Names:
California; Point Reyes National Seashore
ecology; movement; radio telemetry
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