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INVENTORY OF AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE SPECIES AT
GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
AND
EISENHOWER NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Richard H. Yahner, Katherine L. Derge,
and Jennifer Mravintz

 

Center for Biodiversity Research
Environmental Resources Research Institute
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

March 2001

________________________________

Summary

We conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Gettysburg National Military Park (GETT) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (EISE) from March-November 1999 and 2000. Both parks are located in Adams County, south-central Pennsylvania. Forest, grassland, wetland, and riparian areas were sampled for presence, relative abundance, and distribution of amphibians and reptiles. We used visual-encounter surveys, coverboards, general searches, funnel traps, drift-fence arrays, pitfall buckets, turtle traps, and leaf litter bags in our inventory.

We had predicted 43 species of amphibians and reptiles to potentially occur at GETT and EISE. Of these predicted species, we observed 24 (56%) species at GETT and 10 at EISE, including five salamander species, nine frog and toad species, five turtle species, and five snake species. Another species, the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), was a new species record for GETT and Adams County.

The highest number of species were recorded via general searches, visual-encounter surveys (VES), coverboards, and calling surveys. Survey protocols with low or no success included funnel traps, drift-fence arrays, pitfall buckets, and leaf litter bags. Forested habitat yielded the greatest number of observations, whereas no individuals were observed in grassland habitat.

We recommend that five VES and coverboard sites be used to monitor population trends in redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). We also suggest that population trends of frogs and toads, aquatic and semi-aquatic species, and aquatic turtles be monitored via calling surveys, stream and wetland surveys, and trapping, respectively

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