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The Hereptofauna of Letterkenny Army Depot, South-Central Pennsylvania: A Starting Point to the Long-Term Monitoring and Management of Amphibians and Reptiles

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Journal article

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We surveyed the herpetofauna of the Letterkenny Army Depot LEAD, Franklin County, in south-central Pennsylvania during May to September of 2003 and 2004, using a variety of techniques cover boards, drift fences, pit falls, funnel traps, and road cruising. We identified 15 species of amphibians and 14 species of reptiles. The most abundant amphibian was the American Toad Anaxyrus americanus with 34.7 of total amphibian captures, followed by the Bronze Frog Lithobates clamitans, with 21.8. The most abundant reptile was the Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina, which yielded 62.0 of the total reptilian captures, followed by both the Five-lined Skink Plestiodon fasciatus and the Eastern Racer Coluber constrictor with 5.3 each. Endangered or threatened species such as the Eastern Mud Salamander Pseudotriton montanus, Bog Turtle Clemmys muhlenbergii, Eastern Redbelly Turtle Pseudemys rubriventris, and Rough Green Snake Opheodrys aestivus, although historically present in this region, were not detected in our study. This effort was the first standardized and comprehensive assessment of species composition and abundance of amphibians and reptiles at LEAD. Although it is likely that past anthropogenic disturbances have detrimentally affected the herpetofauna of this site, the current monitoring effort and management plan are positive signs for the future. Our findings underscore the importance of continued monitoring for a more complete inventory, with special attention being paid to assessing the status of sensitive species and the potential for colonization of exotic species currently known to be in Pennsylvania.

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  • Biology
  • Ecology

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