Enhancing amphibian biodiversity on golf courses with seasonal wetlands

  • Published source details Scott D.E., Metts B.S. & Whitfield Gibbons J. (2008) Enhancing amphibian biodiversity on golf courses with seasonal wetlands. Pages 285-292 in: Urban Herpetology. SSAR, Salt Lake City.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control fish by drying out ponds

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Create ponds for amphibians

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Remove or control fish by drying out ponds

    A before-and-after study in 1999–2001 of a seasonal wetland bay in South Carolina, USA (Scott, Metts & Whitfield Gibbons 2008) found that removing fish by drying the bay increased amphibian species richness. Before removal the bay supported only cricket frogs Acris gryllus. After fish removal the bay supported nine amphibian species including the Carolina gopher frog Rana capito. Amphibians were sampled in 1999 before fish removal and in the spring of 2001.


  2. Create ponds for amphibians

    A site comparison study in 1999–2001 of created ponds, lakes and streams on golf courses in Georgia and South Carolina, USA (Scott, Metts & Whitfield Gibbons 2008) found that numbers of amphibian species in created seasonal water bodies were more similar to natural water bodies than created permanent water bodies. Created seasonal water bodies supported 18 species (at least four were breeding), compared to 11 in created permanent water bodies and 24 in natural seasonal water bodies. The number of fish species was 15–16 in created and 10 in natural water bodies. Three amphibian species made up 99% of captures on golf courses with only permanent water bodies and 64% on those that had permanent and seasonal wetlands. Five golf courses from four to over 25 years old were selected. Three had permanent and two also had seasonal water bodies. Eleven natural seasonal wetlands were also sampled. Monitoring was over four days/three nights at two monthly intervals using minnow and hoop-net traps, dip-netting and visual surveys. Drift-fencing (50 m) with pitfall traps was installed at seasonal water bodies for one year.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

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, 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 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust