Stochastic Variation in Reproductive Success of a Rare Frog, Rana sevosa: Implications for Conservation and for Monitoring Amphibian Populations

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Stephen RichterORCID iD icon


Biological Sciences

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Although amphibian populations are thought to be declining in many parts of the world, detailed information on populations in decline are often not available. From 1988 to 2001, we studied temporal variation in the reproductive biology of the only known population of dusky gopher frogs, Rana sevosa Goin and Netting. We found high annual variation in reproductive effort, mortality at the egg and larval stages, and hydroperiod length. No overall trends were apparent in terms of either number of egg masses deposited or in reproductive success, as we found extensive variation among years in the number of egg masses deposited, a high rate of reproductive failure, and no consistent relationship between the number of females present, the number of eggs deposited, and the number of metamorphs emerging. Given the complete isolation of this population from other gopher frogs and the high rate of reproductive failure, the probability of extinction of this population appears to be quite high (0.125–0.316).

Journal Title

Biological Conservation

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