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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Using Rotenone to enhance native amphibian breeding habitat in ponds

Published source details

Mullin S.J., Towey J.B. & Szafoni R.E (2004) Using Rotenone to enhance native amphibian breeding habitat in ponds. Ecological Restoration, 22, 305-306

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Remove or control fish using rotenone Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, before-and-after site comparison study in 2000–2002 of four ponds in a Nature Preserve in Illinois, USA (Mullin, Towey & Szafoni 2004) found that amphibian abundance and recruitment increased after fish control using rotenone (see also Towey 2007, Walston & Mullin 2007). Overall, numbers of amphibians increased by 411% in the two treated ponds compared to 165% in two existing fishless ponds. Recruitment increased by 873% in treated and 219% in historically fishless ponds. Abundance increases were greater in treated compared to fishless ponds for smallmouth salamanders Ambystoma texanum (610 vs 82%), American toad Bufo americanus (206 vs 190%), bullfrog Rana catesbeiana (101 vs 40%) and southern leopard frog Lithobates sphenocephalus (950 vs 325%). Wood frog Rana sylvatica increased by the same amount in treatment and controls (188 vs 188). Rotenone was applied to the two ponds (3–7 parts per million) with introduced native fish in December 2001. Amphibians were monitored in these two ponds and two without fish by using drift-fencing and pitfall traps from May 2000 to December 2002. Call surveys were also undertaken.