ERA

Download the full-sized PDF of Occupancy, Abundance, and Summer Ecology of the Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium Baird) in the Beaver Hills, AlbertaDownload the full-sized PDF

Analytics

Share

Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Z31P045

Download

Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley

Communities

This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of

Collections

This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Occupancy, Abundance, and Summer Ecology of the Western Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium Baird) in the Beaver Hills, Alberta Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Ambystoma mavortium
occupancy modeling
amphibian
caudata
generalized linear model
population size
glow stick
tiger salamander
Canada
northern
Boreal
Prairie Pothole Region
capture mark recapture
Beaver Hills
catfood
bait
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Welsh, Kyle J
Supervisor and department
Paszkowski, Cindy (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Bayne, Erin (Biological Sciences)
Proctor, Heather (Biological Sciences)
Department
Department of Biological Sciences
Specialization
Ecology
Date accepted
2015-12-14T10:35:25Z
Graduation date
2016-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
The western tiger salamander (Ambystoma mavortium Baird) is a ‘species of special concern’ in the Canadian prairie provinces. Potential declines caused by habitat loss and fragmentation, emergent diseases, and fish stocking are reasons cited for this species conservation status. However, little data exist about the ecology, distribution, and abundance of this species in Canada, where the species reaches the northern extent of its global range. In the Beaver Hills of Alberta, I examined occupancy, abundance, and summer habitat of the western tiger salamander. In 2013, I surveyed potential breeding ponds for salamander occurrence and abundance and characterized the distribution of populations in relation to terrestrial habitat variables with generalized linear regression. In 2014, I conducted season-long capture-mark-recapture (CMR) studies at three study sites to characterize seasonal activity patterns of adults and larvae and population sizes. I then compared CMR density estimates among sites to relative counts observed during my low-intensity survey method to determine if counts from low-intensity surveys suitably characterized salamander population densities among sites. In 2013 and 2014, I tested the effect of baited funnel traps on adult and larval capture success, as ambystomatid salamanders are difficult to detect. The distribution of salamander populations was significantly related to northern pocket gopher density (Thomomys talpoides Richardson) adjacent to wetlands, but not land cover composition. Density when present was not significantly related to any terrestrial habitat features. Counts (from low-intensity surveys) accurately characterized population density, although density estimates were very imprecise. Seasonal pond-use patterns indicate that post-metamorphic individuals remain in wetlands to forage after breeding, which is atypical among ambystomatid salamanders. Lastly, baiting funnel traps did not affect capture success of post-metamorphic individuals, but light-baited traps captured significantly more larval individuals than non-baited traps. The key findings of this study are that salamander populations likely depend on small mammal burrows to overwinter and that wetlands are important summer habitat for post-metamorphic individuals. Further, baited minnow traps differentially affect distinct life stages of western tiger salamanders, and likely other ambystomatid salamanders.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3Z31P045
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
2015-12-14T17:35:36.711+00:00
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
Characterization
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 4440906
Last modified: 2016:06:16 16:54:29-06:00
Filename: Welsh_Kyle_J_201512_MSc.pdf
Original checksum: 959bd3a7954a3347f8dbb836f09b65b2
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date