News & Stories
ARMI researchers work on innovative projects throughout the country. News & Stories offer insight into the work of wildlife biologists and the issues facing our nation's amphibians. Explore our site for news & stories about our latest research and how it's used in the management of wildlife and their habitats.
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News & Stories The return of red-legged frogs
Read the full story here: www.fws.gov/cno/newsroom/Highlights/2021/Red-Legged-Frog/
The three-day symposium served two important purposes. The first two days were intended to bring together practitioners of amphibian monitoring and park natural resource personnel with university, non-governmental scientists, and USGS scientists. Participants shared examples from their work and the current state of knowledge about research and monitoring of amphibians and their habitats. Reflecting the long history of ARMI research in the Rocky Mountains and on NPS lands, there were five presentations by ARMI scientists, and seven presentations highlighted on-going or recently completed ARMI research.
The third day was structured to provide a formal peer review of the network’s amphibian and wetland monitoring protocol. The eight reviewers, which included ARMI scientist Brian Halstead and former ARMI PhD student Paige Howell, offered recommendations to enrich and strengthen the Greater Yellowstone Network ’s ongoing monitoring efforts. In total, more than 60 people participated in the symposium and program review.
ARMI and the Greater Yellowstone Network will continue their collaboration by co-organizing a special issue in the journal Ecological Indicators. The issue will include several papers that highlight collaborative USGS-NPS research on amphibians, wetlands, and climate, as well as emerging tools and priorities for scientists and resource managers.
ARMI has collected data at BANWR since 2000, gathering information about native species (e.g., Chandler et al. 2015, Jarchow et al. 2016, , Howell et al. 2018, 2020a), invasive species such as American bullfrogs and sunfish (Suhr 2010, Howell et al. 2020b), and disease (Sigafus et al. 2014). Models assessing occupancy and movement of the Chiricahua leopard frog indicate that water availability and permanency are critical components to the its persistence at BANWR. The Refuge has used this information to make decisions about management actions such as building plumbed ponds — a non-trivial action in terms of cost and logistics. The new ciénega will not only support the Chiricahua leopard frog but will provide water for many other species that call BANWR home including the federally endangered masked bobwhite quail, great blue herons, yellow-billed cuckoos, and pronghorn.
Bezy, J., C. F. Hutchinson, and C. J. Bahre. 2007. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge,
373 Arizona. Desert Plants 23:3–44.
Chandler, R., E. Muths, B. H. Sigafus, C.R. Schwalbe, C. Jarchow, and B.R. Hossack. 2015. Realizing the potential of spatially explicit metapopulation theory for predicting extinction risk. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12481.
Howell, P., E. Muths, B.R. Hossack, B.H. Sigafus, and R.B. Chandler. 2018. Increasing connectivity between metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology. Ecology 99: 1119-1128.
Howell, P.E., B.R. Hossack, E. Muths, B. Sigafus, A. Chenevert- Steffler, and R. Chandler. 2020a. A statistical forecasting approach to metapopulation viability analysis. Ecological Applications 30(2), e02038
Howell, P.E. E. Muths, B.H. Sigafus, and B.R. Hossack. 2020b. Survival estimates for the invasive American bullfrog. Amphibia-Reptilia.
Hendrickson, D. A. and W. L. Minckley. 1985. Ciénegas vanishing climax communities of the American southwest. Desert Plants 6 (3): 131-175.
Sigafus, B. H., C.R. Schwalbe, B.R. Hossack, and E. Muths. 2014. Prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona. Herpetological Review 45: 41-42.
Suhre, D. O. 2010. Dispersal and demography of the American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) in a
455 semi-arid grassland. M.S. Thesis, University of Arizona, USA.
News & Stories Race to save rare California frog beats coronavirus lockdown
Full article is available here: www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-04-09/scientists-beat-coronavirus-lockdown-to-save-rare-california-frog
The official press release by the The San Diego Natural History Museum also covers this project (in which they play an important role): www.sdnhm.org/pressroom/pressroom_details/california-red-legged-frogs-returned-to-historic-range-in-southern-california/37/
We also earned a spot on the USGS Facebook page which can be seen here: www.facebook.com/USGeologicalSurvey/posts/3034689379910358
You can find the search tool here: doi.org/10.5066/P9GGPPF7
News & Stories Honoring the late Gary Fellers
Dr. Fellers was one of the Principal Investigators for ARMI. To download his obituary that was published in Herpetological Review, please visit: armi.usgs.gov/docs/Gary_Fellers_obit_in_HR.pdf
News & Stories ARMI scientist Michael Adams receives 2020 PARC honor
This award recognizes individuals in North America who exemplify extraordinary commitment to herpetofaunal conservation. The PARC Joint National Steering Committee (JNSC) was impressed with the multitude of examples that spanned local to global partnerships affecting international conservation efforts, such as serving as the Surveillance/Monitoring lead on the Bsal Task Force.
“Your ability to connect people and science at multiple levels and to facilitate key partnerships while providing rigorous science to meet local, regional, national, and international management needs in the field of amphibian ecology and conservation is indeed striking,” the JNSC letter stated.
In addition, Mike’s leadership and behind the scenes work as National Coordinator for the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative has been recognized as the sustaining force behind the national program, a program of excellence in science and conservation that is unparalleled by any other federal government effort and is a model for other nations.
Mike’s outstanding passion for, and dedication to, conservation of amphibians and reptiles was recognized by the JNSC through, “...your leadership, science, and collaborations. Your contributions to herpetofaunal conservation exemplifies all of our Core Values: Collaboration; Proactive Approaches; Scientific Integrity; Value in All Biodiversity; and Maintaining Optimism and fits our desire to acknowledge "unsung heroes" in herpetofaunal conservation.”
Mike will receive the award on March 20, 2020 at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
News & Stories ARMI in the news - Recovery: Saving Mark Twain’s Famous Frog
The main character of Mark Twain’s first literary success, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, was a California red-legged frog whose noted leaping ability was annulled by birdshot surreptitiously forced down its throat.
When The New York Saturday Press ran the story on November 18, 1865 California red-legged frogs were so abundant in and near the state’s coastal areas they provided a booming market for frog legs.
Today the West’s largest native frog is missing from 70 percent of its historic range and listed as federally threatened. Likely causes include an alien amphibian disease called chytrid fungus, development, urban runoff, water loss from diversions, drought and fire from climate change, past predation by humans and current predation by non-native fauna.
But recovery efforts by multiple partners, including The Nature Conservancy, are producing spectacular results.
View full article: blog.nature.org/science/2019/11/14/recovery-saving-mark-twains-famous-frog/