Blanchard’s cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) was once a locally common species through much of Ohio, but a decline front moving from east to west has led to a range contraction. Monitoring these declining populations and developing survey protocol that accurately measures population trends are important aspects of this research. We sampled 324 randomly chosen ponds, lakes, and streams in three monitoring areas in western Ohio using call surveys during the summer of 2006. This study had three objectives: to determine which variables are significant predictors of cricket frog calling activity, to see whether sound recordings of breeding male frogs affected calling activity and calling duration, and to compare the number of populations detected with the numbers detected from surveys in 2004 and 2005. We recorded a number of variables during the surveys, including time, temperature, average wind speed, barometric pressure, humidity, moon phase, weather conditions, acoustic interference, and the presence/absence of cricket frog and any other anuran species. A multiple logistic regression indicated that humidity (p= 0.000), moon phase (p= 0.001), and bullfrog presence (p= 0.010) were significant predictors of cricket frog calling activity. An independent samples t-test showed that calling duration was not affected by the playback experiment (p= 0.775), and a chi-square test for independence showed that playbacks did not have a significant influence on cricket frog calling activity (p= 0.384). We detected twice as many populations in the south area compared to previous years, while detection rates in the north and central areas remained similar to previous years. Future research should continue to explore the link between moon phase and calling activity, and an increased sample size for the playback experiment could yield greater statistical confidence in the results.
Witter, James R., "Survey Validation For a Declining Amphibian, Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi), in Western Ohio" (2007). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 1368.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2007 James R. Witter