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Effect of road traffic on amphibian density

  • John F., Wegner
  • Lenore, Fahrig
  • John H., Pedlar
  • Shealagh E., Pope
  • Philip D., Taylor
Published Article
Publication Date
Nov 03, 1995
Road Ecology Center John Muir Institute of the Environment
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We studied the effect of traffic intensity on local abundance of anurans. We counted dead and live frogs and toads per km and estimated frog and toad local abundances using breeding chorus intensities on similar roads through similar habitats, but with different levels of traffic intensity. After correcting for effects of date, local habitat, time, and region, our analyses demonstrated that (1) the number of dead and live frogs and toads per km decreased with increasing traffic intensity; (2) the proportion of frogs and toads dead increased with increasing traffic intensity; and (3) the frog and toad density, as measured by the chorus intensity, decreased with increasing traffic intensity. Taken together, our results indicate that traffic mortality has a significant negative effect on the local density of anurans. Our results suggest that recent increases in traffic volumes worldwide are probably contributing to declines in amphibian populations, particularly in populated areas.

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