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Environmental contaminants programs on-refuge investigations sub-activity: Final report year 6: Nationwide malfromed amphibian monitoring project

In 2004, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel monitored five National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in Region 6, which included Alamosa NWR and Arapaho NWR in Colorado, Rainwater Basin NWR in Nebraska, Lostwood NWR in North Dakota, and Mortenson NWR.in Wyoming, for the presence of abnormal amphibians.

This was the first year of monitoring at each of these refuges. Overall, there were few abnormalities found in amphibians. The refuge with the highest number of abnormalities in metamorphs observed was Lostwood NWR in North Dakota. At one site on this refuge, 5 of 31 western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata) metamorphs appeared abnormal. At a second site, 7 of 52 western chorus frog metamorphs appeared abnormal. At the Rainwater Basin NWR in Nebraska abnormal metamorphs were found at five sites. The abnormalities appeared in western chorus frogs, an unknown toad species (Bufo sp.), and the plains leopard frog (Rana blairi). Two refuges in Colorado were monitored for abnormal amphibians. Western chorus frog and Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousif) metamorphs were examined at Alamosa NWR but no abnormalities were found. At Arapaho NWR, two of the northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) metamorphs and one of the western chorus frog metamorphs examined exhibited abnormalities at Arapaho NWR. At Mortenson NWR in Wyoming, four chorus frog metamorphs were found to have abnormalities. The abnormal specimens found during the monitoring effort were sent to the University of Wisconsin for parasitological examinations as some parasites may be responsible for certain malformations. This was the second year that amphibians were examined for parasites. Results of the examinations are pending. Upon completion of the parasitological examinations, the metamorphs were preserved so that radiographs could be taken.

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agINFRA The RING is part of the agINFRA project EC 7th framework program INFRA-2011-1.2.2 - Grant agr. no: 283770