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Capturing Methods for the Northern Cricket Frog Essay

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Introduction
Amphibians are significant in ecological communities and may also be sensitive indicators of environmental change despite their cryptic and secretive habits (Grant et al. 1992). Northern cricket frogs (Acris crepitans) typically range from 1.6 to 3.5cm in length, having various colors and patterns with a wart-like texture. Although they have long hind legs, they do not climb well, nor are they found high in trees. The northern cricket frog call is described as rapid clicking of marbles together. Three capturing methods have been found and used on the northern cricket frog. The three capturing methods are cover board refugia, funnel traps, and pitfall traps.
The first method is the use of cover board refugia. Tin and wooden cover boards, as described by Grant et al. (1992), are the most commonly used materials. The second method typically used to capture the northern cricket frog is a pitfall trap. Pitfall traps used on the northern cricket frog are typically live traps because they are an endangered species, with variations in size and material depending on the type of study being done. They may also be used with drift fences to increase the chances of capture (Figure 1). Drift fences are commonly made of aluminum flashing that is buried about 10cm in the ground. The final capture method is funnel trap usage. Like pitfall traps, funnel traps may be used in addition to drift fences to increase trap effectiveness. Given that each study is different (i.e. location, climate, etc.), modifications and improvements have been designed to enhance trap effectiveness. There are many designs, types, and sizes of pitfall traps, funnel traps and drift-fences, all of which have been proposed and tested (Bruce...


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...streambank fencing on herpetofauna in pasture stream zones. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30:361-369.
MacGown, J. 2011. Pitfall traps. Mississippi Entomological Museum.
Mengak, M. T., and D. C. Guynn, Jr. 1987. Pitfalls and snap traps for sampling small mammals and herpetofauna. American Midland Naturalist 118:284- 288.
..... Russel, K. R., H. G. Hanlin, T. B. Wigley, and D. C. Guynn. 2002. Responses of isolated wetland herpetofauna to upland forest management. Journal of Wildlife Management 66:603-617.
Strain, G. F., and R. L. Raesly. 2012. Amphibian sampling techniques along Maryland coastal- plain streams. Northeastern Naturalist 19:229-248.
Todd, B. D., C. T. Winne, J. D. Willson, and J. W. Gibbons. 2007. Getting the drift: examining the effects of timing, trap type and taxon on herpetofaunal drift fence surveys. American Midland Naturalist 158:292-305.



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