Changes in Amphibian and Reptile Communities

Gary S. Casper

in The Vanishing Present: Wisconsin's Changing Lands, Waters, and Wildlife

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226871714
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226871745 | DOI:
Changes in Amphibian and Reptile Communities

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  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


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The loss of over half of Wisconsin's wetlands and more than 99% of its prairies and oak savannas has radically altered conditions for reptiles and amphibians, greatly shrinking the ranges of several now endangered species. These losses have been greatest and most permanent in southern Wisconsin as huge expanses of grassland and savanna were converted to agriculture and urban development. To understand how the state's reptile and amphibian fauna are responding to habitat conditions, this chapter examines two extremes along a continuum of anthropogenic disturbance. At one end of the continuum, is the Apostle Islands. Although this is not the most pristine part of the state, many of the islands remain fairly wild. At the opposite extreme lies the heavily urbanized landscape of Milwaukee County.

Keywords: Wisconsin; amphibians; reptiles; endangered species; agriculture; Apostle Islands; Milwaukee County

Chapter.  5257 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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