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Gopher Frog Monitoring Project

biologist preparing to dipnet a wetland by Aubrey M. Heupel

The goal of this study is to monitor changes in occupancy (presence/absence) of gopher frogs at 98 breeding wetlands. We will also examine the effects of climate, habitat, wetland and landscape variables on the annual occupancy and reproductive success at breeding wetlands. This study will allow us to better understand the patterns and drivers of wetland occupancy, as well as determine the best methodology for future monitoring efforts.

Wetlands were monitored using dipnet surveys and acoustic recording devices (frogloggers) from Fall 2015 through Spring 2019. The accumulated froglogger data totals over 54,000 hours of recordings that need to be scanned for gopher frog calls. FWRI researchers use software to pick up the low-frequency call of the gopher frog, but the software is imperfect and the audio must be verified before further analyses can be conducted. In the meantime, FWRI is also collaborating with the University of Georgia to conduct occupancy modeling analyses of the dipnet survey data.  

Map showing monitoring areas