Journal of Biodiversity Management & ForestryISSN: 2327-4417

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Out of the Woods: Mitigating Negative Impacts of Unused Forest Roads on Amphibians with Woody Debris

Out of the Woods: Mitigating Negative Impacts of Unused Forest Roads on Amphibians with Woody Debris

Habitat loss and fragmentation are among the most serious threats facing amphibians. While less noticeable than highways and with typically little vehicle traffic, extensive networks of logging roads also fragment habitats and some species avoid crossing these roads. Woody debris is an important habitat feature for many amphibians providing refuges and foraging opportunities for species sheltering underneath. In an attempt to mitigate the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation by logging roads in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada, we sampled amphibians crossing an unused logging road using pitfall traps and tested several types of woody debris treatments. Using the ‘before’ and ‘after’, ‘control’ and ‘impact’ (BACI) model, we compared captures of Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus), Red Efts (Notophthalmus viridescens) and Green Frogs (Lithobates clamitans) in 2010 (pre-treatment) and 2011 (post-treatment); the treatments consisted of either hardwood mulch, conifer brush, timbers and a control with no woody debris. Our results with pitfall traps indicated specific responses to mitigation with Green Frogs showing positive responses to the brush and timber treatments, while both salamander species showed little response.

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