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Posts Tagged ‘NJDEP’

That’s a Wrap for the Pilot Season of a New Collaborative Project with NJDEP Focusing on Pine Barrens Tree Frogs

Friday, August 12th, 2022

by Christine Healy

CWF intern Connor Zrinko inspects a large tadpole he collected while dipnetting.

At quick glance, Pine Barrens tree frogs (PBTF), with their vivid green backs, deep purple sides, and vibrant yellow thighs, might put folks in mind of Central and South American rainforests. Based on their visage, they could, theoretically, be at home beside red-eyed tree frogs and poison arrow frogs – the poster children of amphibian diversity. They have occupied that spotlight themselves. In fact, in his 1983 Endangered Species series, American pop artist Andy Warhol chose to immortalize the PBTF in silkscreen as the lone representative of herptiles. But these tiny beauties do not favor the tropics. Occurring in three disjunct populations across the eastern United States including the Florida/Alabama panhandle, the Carolinas and, naturally, New Jersey, PBTF are habitat specialists. They reside in seepage bogs where the water is relatively acidic, due to the presiding vegetation. Sadly, as is the case with many animals reliant on very specific landscape features, habitat loss and fragmentation pose a concern for the persistence of this species, which is listed as threatened in New Jersey.

CWF is very excited to be partnering with NJDEP, Division of Watershed Protection and Restoration on a long-term study aimed at better understanding the effect of development on vulnerable species. We will measure abundance, adult health and survival, and larval growth of Pine Barrens tree frogs within a population impacted by encroaching construction to evaluate whether current wetland regulations, including buffer size, are sufficient for species conservation.

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