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Post‑breeding Movement, Habitat Selection, and Natural History of Collinses’ Mountain Chorus Frog in North Carolina

Samuel T.S. McCoy1,2,*, Joseph H.K. Pechmann2, and Lori A. Williams3

1Biology Department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723. 2Freshwater Land Trust, Birmingham, AL 35203. 3North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, NC 27699. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist,Volume 20, Issue 3 (2021): 399–419

Successful conservation requires information about a species’ habitat needs throughout its life cycle. In 2015, we studied the post‑breeding habitat use of Pseudacris collinsorum (Collinses’ Mountain Chorus Frog), a species of special concern in North Carolina. We collected amplexing pairs from 2 breeding sites, and females laid a mean of 338 eggs per individual. We then followed 19 frogs leaving their breeding site for 23 days using radio telemetry. Fields, orchards, and, more distantly, forests surrounded breeding pools. Frogs traveled 11.4–475.6 m from their breeding site. Frog selection of macrohabitat did not differ from macrohabitat availability. However, most individuals that were from the breeding site nearest the forest as well as individuals that traveled the greatest distance entered the forest. Forest habitat had more burrows, canopy coverage, and leaf-litter cover, which provide protection from predators and desiccation. Our study suggests selection of forest habitat by Collinses’ Mountain Chorus Frogs after breeding.

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