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Data from: Digital recorders increase detection of Eleutherodactylus frogs

Cite this dataset

Villanueva-Rivera, Luis J. (2013). Data from: Digital recorders increase detection of Eleutherodactylus frogs [Dataset]. Dryad.


Improved methods for large-scale and long-term amphibian monitoring projects would aid species status assessments and identification of potentially declining species (e.g., Stuart et al. 2004). Acoustical surveys allow researchers to quickly determine species presence and calling activity level (Lips et al. 2001; Zimmerman 1994). The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, a large-scale monitoring effort, uses acoustical surveys to monitor species in ponds and wetlands (United States Geological Survey 2004). A challenge of this approach is accurate species identification, which is particularly problematic in a tropical area with high anuran species diversity (e.g., anuran species richness in the Neotropics was greater than in the Neartic, Duellman 1999). Furthermore, abundant or loud species may lower the detection probability of other species. An assumption that needs to be tested in acoustical surveys is that detection is highly correlated with the species presence or activity. Without an appropriate correction for detection probability, data will not accurately reflect the status of the species (MacKenzie et al. 2002). This may result in inappropriate management decisions that could waste time and money. Digital recorders can be used as a standard method for species detection and determination of calling activity level in amphibian choruses in long-term monitoring projects. Digital recordings can be stored and transferred easily and can allow experts to analyze the recordings at their convenience. In addition, loud or abundant species can be filtered using computer software to increase the detection of other species. I tested the hypothesis that detection of species presence and calling activity level in anuran choruses will be higher when recordings are analyzed with the help of computer software compared to only hearing the recordings. The resulting increase in detection should result in improved population status data and reduced false negatives during species inventories (i.e., when a species is not detected due to interference).

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El Yunque National Forest
Carite State Forest
Puerto Rico
Luquillo Experimental Forest