Currently there is little doubt among the scientific community of the decline of amphibians on an international scale (Berger et al. 1998, Kuzmin 1994, Laurance et al. 1996, Lips 1998) and across North America (Delis et al. 1996, Drost and Fellers 1996, Lannoo 1994). In light of these widespread declines it is essential that current populations be inventoried and evaluated so that future population changes can be detected and hopefully correlated with possible causes. Critical baseline information is lost when monitoring is not implemented until after a problem is detected. The effectiveness of long-term studies in detecting amphibian declines (Beebee 1997, Lannoo et al. 1994) and distinguishing declines from population fluctuations (Pechmann 1991) has been demonstrated. Some states have initiated amphibian monitoring programs after the incidence of declines or malformities reached high levels. A goal of all states should be the institution of programs that would work together to monitor amphibian populations as a whole to determine causes of declines and malformities more efficiently. The amphibian and reptile species of the middle Kaskaskia River drainage of Illinois had been poorly known prior to this inventory. Most of the land in the study area is privately owned and is inaccessible to the public, possibly accounting in part for the lack of herpetofaunal records. The main goals of this project were to (1) inventory the amphibians and reptiles of the Kaskaskia study area, (2) voucher any species that had not been recorded in the vicinity previously or since 1960, and (3) locate amphibian breeding habitats.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2000 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Wilson, Allan K.
"Amphibian and Reptile Surveys in the Kaskaskia River Drainage of Illinois During 1997 and 1998,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 107:
, Article 27.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol107/iss3/27