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Population Demographics of the Florida Bog Frog (Lithobates okaloosae)

Neto, Jeronimo Gomes Da Silva, Gorman, Thomas A., Bishop, David C., Haas, Carola A.
Southeastern naturalist 2014 v.13 no.1 pp. 128-137
Lithobates, Rana, body condition, breeding season, breeding sites, demographic statistics, frogs, males, philopatry, population size, survival rate, Florida
Conservation of a target species is often hindered by the absence of basic demographic information. Lithobates [Rana] okaloosae (Florida Bog Frog) was discovered in 1982 and occupies only three counties in northwest Florida, with its geographic range occurring almost exclusively on Eglin Air Force Base. This limited distribution has led to the listing of the Florida Bog Frog as a species of special concern in Florida. We used a mark-recapture approach to 1) estimate population sizes and densities of male Florida Bog Frogs at four sites; 2) estimate recapture rates of males among sites, within years, and between years; 3) examine the relationship between male body condition and residency time in breeding sites; and 4) examine the variation in male body condition across sites. Florida Bog Frog population sizes and densities differed among sites, but not across years. Recapture rates were high within a breeding season but low between years, suggesting that males have high site fidelity and survival rates during the breeding season, but that annual mortality or dispersal rates are high. Lastly, body condition of males did not differ across sites or affect residency time during the breeding season. Understanding basic demographics of this species will aid future conservation efforts and management decisions.