|Comparison of Proximal Riparian Habitat Use by Native and Invasive Anurans|
|Lisa L. Surber1, Jeff T. Wilcox2, Derek Girman1. 1Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, United States; 2Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation, Petaluma, California, United States
Research on microhabitat use is vital to the conservation of anuran species. The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) is a threatened species, whose decline has been largely attributed to habitat loss, habitat modification, and introduction of invasive species, including the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus). In the summer of 2017 on Sonoma Mountain in Petaluma, CA we 1) observed and recorded the nocturnal use of bank structures by R. draytonii in stream and pond settings; and 2) compared these behaviors to those of sympatric L. catesbeianus. Our results suggest that there are significant differences between the nocturnal habitat use of R. draytonii and L. catesbeianus, and differences in how R. draytonii use the physical landscape surrounding creeks and ponds. These behavioral differences may have implications for management practices, such as creating riparian buffer zones that, at once, facilitate the conservation of R. draytonii but are exploitable for controlling L catesbeianus.