Long-term persistence of amphibian populations in a restored wetland complex

  • Published source details Petranka J.W., Harp E.M., Holbrook C.T. & Hamel J.A. (2007) Long-term persistence of amphibian populations in a restored wetland complex. Biological Conservation, 138, 371-380


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create ponds for amphibians

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Create ponds for amphibians

    A replicated site comparison study in 1996–2006 of 10 constructed ponds within a wetland restoration site in North Carolina, USA (Petranka et al. 2007) found that amphibian species richness in constructed ponds was significantly higher than natural ponds until fish were introduced. There was an average of four species in constructed ponds compared to three in natural ponds in 1996–2002, but in 2003–2006 the number in created ponds had decreased to three. The wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus population increased rapidly in created ponds between 1998 (400 egg masses) and 2000 (1,750). It then declined rapidly in 2000–2002 (to 600) and at a slower rate until 2006 (to 200) due to ranavirus, pond drying and fish invasions. Spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum fluctuated less, tending to increase from 1997 (891 egg masses) to 2005 (2,931). Populations in natural ponds were more stable (50–300 egg masses). Despite reproductive failures, success in a few ponds allowed populations to persist at high levels. Ten ponds created in 1995–1996 as part of the wetland restoration were compared to 10 natural ponds. Monitoring was undertaken every 1–3 weeks in February-August and less frequently from September-January. Egg mass counts, dip-netting and larval sampling was undertaken and presence of fish and ranavirus recorded.


Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust