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Observations of oviposition in northern clade Bufo fowleri in kettle lakes at Cape Cod National Seashore, USA: implications for management

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image of Applied Herpetology

Kettle lakes are important breeding habitats for Fowler's toad (Bufo fowleri) and are also used for human recreation. We sampled four kettle lakes used for recreation at Cape Cod National Seashore, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA to examine patterns in B. fowleri oviposition. Most oviposition occurred within 4 m of shorelines in shallow water and on vegetation or debris that positioned embryos close to the water's surface. Only 1.22% of egg strings were located in recreational-use accessways. Public-use related habitat disturbance likely inhibits B. fowleri oviposition due to the removal of attachment substrates. Resource managers should consider restricting human activity in kettle lakes so that egg strings and attachment substrates are not destroyed.

Affiliations: 1: Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus, Department of Science and Applied Technology, 3001 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22311, USA; 2: Antioch University New England, Department of Environmental Studies, 40 Avon Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03431-3516, USA; 3: United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Cape Cod National Seashore, 99 Marconi Site Road, Wellfleet, Massachusetts 02667, USA


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