Evaluation of conspecific attraction as a management tool across several species of anurans

Valerie L. Buxton, Michael P. Ward, Jinelle H. Sperry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, with habitat loss and alteration being a primary driver of many declines. Management strategies to mitigate these declines include translocation and creation or restoration of breeding habitats, yet these techniques are not always effective. We examined whether conspecific attraction-a management tool frequently used in avian conservation-would be similarly valuable in management and conservation of anuran amphibians (i.e., frogs and toads). We broadcast conspecific chorus sounds at unoccupied, artificial breeding ponds for six anuran species across three field sites. We documented when frogs arrived at each pool and when eggs were laid. We compared differences in number of pools found with adults and egg masses between playback and control pools and examined latency to first colonization. We found that Mexican spadefoots colonized playback ponds faster and more often than control ponds, while Cope's gray treefrogs, Arizona treefrogs, green frogs, spring peepers, and wood frogs exhibited weak or non-existent responses. We discuss why breeding ecology may influence tendency to exhibit conspecific attraction and how this behavior could be used in amphibian management and conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Anurans
  • Colonization
  • Conspecific attraction
  • Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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