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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Kenneth F. Higgins


anura, habitat, south dakota, breeding, wetlands


Four extensive roadside surveys were conducted along 24 east-west transect routes during 1997 and 1998 to identify attributes associated with wetlands used by breeding Anura and to determine anuran distribution within eastern South Dakota. The chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata triseriata and P. t. maculata), northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) and great plains toad (Bufo cognatus) were cosmopolitan in distribution occurring in all 44 counties of eastern South Dakota. The American toad (Bufo americanus), Canadian toad (Bufo hemiophrys) and Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii) were limited to the eastern portion of eastern South Dakota, along with isolated occurrences of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) in Roberts County. Distribution of the plains spadefoot (Scaphiopus bombifrons) and the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), were limited to southern counties, along with the eastern grey treefrog (Hyla versicolor) and Cope's grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) occurring locally in this same area. Although no significant relationships existed between anuran occurrence and water regimes, seasonal and semipermanent wetlands provided habitat for the largest proportion of all anuran species except the wood frog, and to a lesser degree the Canadian toad, both of which were mainly found in permanent wetlands. Wetlands within all vegetative cover categories provided habitat for the majority of anuran species. Despite apparent associations between anuran occurrence and vegetative cover conditions, no relationships were statistically significant. Although preferential distinctions can be made between wetland size and anuran occurrence, no statistically significant relationships existed. The size of seasonal wetlands may have influenced the occurrence of plains spadefoots and bullfrogs. Eastern grey treefrogs and Cope's grey treefrogs only occurred in semipermanent wetlands that were 0.4 to 0.8 ha in size, while wood frog occurrences were limited to permanent wetlands of 0.4 to 0.8 ha. Based on my surveys, 4 species had distributions similar to historical records, 5 were more widely distributed, and 4 had lesser distributions. Although no habitat characteristics that were examined during this study had significant effects on anuran occurrence, micro-habitat variables or large scale landscape measures other than those which I measured may prove to be significant factors affecting anuran presence. Therefore, I recommend further research to determine what specific habitat variables influence anuran distribution and occurrence in order for us to better understand their needs, all of which is necessary for their preservation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Anura -- Habitat -- South Dakota
Anura -- Breeding -- South Dakota
Wetlands -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 78-85)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1998 Tate Fischer