Chapter

Geographical Information Systems and Survey Designs

Charles R. Peterson, Stephen R. Burton and Debra A. Patla

in Amphibian Declines

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520235922
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520235922.003.0047
Geographical Information Systems and Survey Designs

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This chapter describes how to use a Geographical Information System (GIS) for designing amphibian surveys. It indicates what is possible, how to get started, some limitations, and where to go for further information. Examples are taken primarily from the authors' experiences using GIS to design amphibian surveys in the Northern Intermountain West for a variety of state and federal agencies, private corporations, and conservation organizations. Spatial relationships, such as the isolation of wetlands from other wetland habitat or the distance of sites to roads, can be determined through the use of GIS. Perhaps most importantly, a GIS can help identify areas of suitable amphibian habitat for sampling. This chapter shows how GIS was used to describe the status and trends of amphibians in Yellowstone National Park by selecting sampling areas based on randomized techniques, and to select watersheds within these areas. Within these watersheds, GIS was employed to visualize potential amphibian pond breeding habitats for field sampling. Results from this sampling effort were then organized as a GIS layer depicting the distribution and abundance of amphibian breeding populations.

Keywords: Geographical Information System; amphibians; amphibian surveys; Northern Intermountain West; wetlands; breeding habitats; sampling; watersheds; Yellowstone National Park; distribution

Chapter.  4107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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