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Status and Current Distribution of the Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii) in Florida

Paul E. Moler1, Kevin M. Enge1,*, Brett Tornwall1, Anna L. Farmer1, and Bess B. Harris1

1Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Wildlife Research Laboratory, 1105 S.W. Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32601. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 19, Issue 2 (2020): 380–394

We conducted roadside call surveys at 111 historical Hyla andersonii (Pine Barrens Treefrog) sites in 2013–2016. We detected the species at 49 sites (44%), which is consistent with surveys conducted in the early 1980s. We detected the species throughout its historical range except Holmes County, which only has 4 historical sites. We also identified 33 new sites on public lands and 4 new sites on private lands. We used multi-season occupancy models to determine the influence of site and survey covariates on species occupancy and detection rates in Blackwater River State Forest. Species detection was positively associated with air temperature and partial cloud-cover and negatively associated with clear skies. Pine Barrens Treefrog occupancy rates were lower at survey sites surrounded by hardwood-dominated wetlands, suggesting that hardwood encroachment has negatively impacted this species on some areas of Blackwater River State Forest. The best model had an estimated detection probability of 0.43 (95% CI = 0.29–0.47) and an estimated occupancy of 0.63 (95% CI = 0.43–0.79). We recommend that future call surveys include a minimum of 5 visits to each survey site before inferring species absence. Our surveys suggest that the status and distribution of the species remain stable despite some habitat degradation.

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