Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Wildlife

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kimberly J Babbitt


Understanding the movement patterns of vernal pool amphibians is a critical aspect of effective conservation and land management. I used clearcutting to manipulate buffer widths at 11 vernal pools within an industrial forest landscape located in Maine. Forested buffers were either 30m or 100m wide, surrounded by 100m wide clearcut. Each pool was encircled with a drift fence and pitfall traps. I captured wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus ) and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) as they entered and exited pools and documented orientation across three years. Orientation at all pools for both species was non-uniform, differed among pools, between species, and was inconsistent among years. My results suggest that amphibian movement patterns are spatially and temporally complex, and that identifying 'corridors' of amphibian movement for protection is an ineffective approach to managing upland habitats surrounding these pools. A better understanding of how amphibians move through and use upland habitat along and a broader habitat management approach are necessary to the conservation of these species.