50.6 Thursday, Jan. 5 Tadpole Photo Mark-Recapture in critically endangered Rana Muscosa WAKELING, S.R.*; SANTANA, F.E.; CLARK, R.W.; Univ. of Nevada, Reno ; San Diego State Univ. ; San Diego State Univ. email@example.com
Tadpole abundance and detection are important factors for wildlife professionals to consider when estimating population sizes and making management decisions. Tadpole detection by surveyors is often low which makes estimating abundance difficult. A photo mark-recapture survey was conducted on tadpoles of the critically endangered mountain yellow-legged frog (MYLF), Rana muscosa. This survey aimed to determine abundance and survival estimates of tadpoles within a healthy population. Spot pattern characteristics were assessed on captive tadpoles over several weeks. Each tadpole's pattern was found to be unique enough for re-identification, and patterns were retained over a time period similar to the duration of completion of the stream surveys. Over four sampling events there were 723 captures, 52 of those were recaptures, and a total of 671 individual tadpoles were captured. This work shows photo mark-recapture is possible in MYLF tadpoles, and it may prove to be an important tool in understanding the population dynamics of amphibians.