Amphibians of the Apostle Islands

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This presentation will review the amphibian diversity and biogeography in the Apostle Islands, and describe the park’s acoustic monitoring program.

The Apostles support 6 species of salamanders and 7-9 species of frogs. One species (Common Mudpuppy) is restricted to Lake Superior and its river mouths. Amphibian diversity on the islands is influenced by available habitat, island size, and colonization events.

Some species like Central Newt and Mink Frog are restricted to islands with lagoons. The distribution of Eastern Red-backed Salamander is particularly interesting in being absent from many islands with suitable habitat. The acoustic monitoring program was established in 2014 and is tracking phenology, occupancy and abundance metrics at 10 sites.

So far no significant trends have emerged but Cope’s Gray Treefrog and Northern Leopard Frog are the rarest species, and Boreal Chorus Frog remains unconfirmed.

Presenter biography

Gary Casper, Great Lakes Ecological Services

Gary Casper

Gary Casper has been studying amphibians in the Lake Superior Basin for over 30 years.

He helped develop and continues to analyze data for the Apostle Islands amphibian monitoring program.

Gary has two university affiliations, is an editor for two scientific journals, and has an extensive publishing record. His latest book is a Field Guide to the Amphibian Eggs and Larvae of the Great Lakes.


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