Adaptation Strategies for Desert Amphibians

This online resource provides easy access to information about strategies for adaptive management and monitoring of desert amphibians.  It is built from work completed by Dr. Kerry Griffis-Kyle and includes significant contributions from partners working on the Desert LCC Reptile and Amphibian Team. This web resource includes information about planning at a landscape scale for amphibian species conservation, the costs and benefits of connectivity, and the utility of identifying habitat integrity under possible environmental change scenarios. You will find information on tools such as graph theory, network analysis and circuit theory that can be used in assessing connectivity. You can also find information on methods and techniques to model amphibian species vulnerability, outline species ranges, enhance breeding sites, and assess protocols to protect species against disease transmission.

We welcome your feedback on this resource.  If you have additional information, corrections, or simply suggestions, please contact Genevieve Johnson, Desert LCC Coordinator, at gjohnson@usbr.gov.


 

Chihuahuan Desert at the Jornada LTER

Chihuahuan Desert at the Jornada LTER

Landscape-scale planning

Desert amphibians exist as isolated populations and communities in an extreme matrix. Spatial relationships are critical for successful management and provide the opportunity to achieve a diverse set of goals.

Image of a Lowland leopard frog in Graham County, AZ

Lowland leopard frog in Graham County, AZ

Assessing species vulnerability

Evaluation of the sensitivity of the species to change, its adaptive potential to deal with the change and is it at risk to experience those changes

Sonoran Desert next to White Tank on the Barry M Goldwater Range – East

Sonoran Desert next to White Tank on the Barry M Goldwater Range – East

Site specific enhancements

Amphibians use surface water for breeding sites where they race against time to emerge before the site dries. Extending the hydroperiod can help increase the chances of successful metamorphosis. 

Dead Incilius alvarius in a constructed catchment for wildlife in the Sonoran Desert

Dead Incilius alvarius in a constructed catchment for wildlife in the Sonoran Desert

Jordan Goetting

Protecting against disease transmission

Disease is a huge factor in declining amphibian populations and this is likely to get worse with climate change.