EFFECTS OF A HIGH SEVERITY WILDFIRE ON A STREAM DWELLING ENDANGERED FROG POPULATION
|Colin P Dillingham; Plumas National Forest; email@example.com; Christopher W. Koppl|
The Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog inhabits both alpine lakes and high elevation mountain streams. At the northern extent of their range, streams become more commonly utilized as both breeding and non-breeding sites. One intensively monitoring and managed population at the northern extent of the species range was subjected to an intense crown-replacing wildfire in July 2021. The Bean Creek Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog population contained approximately 66 individual adult frogs when the entire population extent was burned in California’s Dixie Fire. There were 55 frogs found in 2021 prior to the fire. 47 were found in 2021 after the fire. The population was subjected to two main fire types, intense crown-replacing high severity fire and low to moderate fire behavior with group torching and understory burning. This presentation will compare population level changes in the different fire severity types. Zoo-reared frog survivorship will be compared to wild frog survivorship. This species has proven to be resilient to high severity fire in small stream systems with intermittent channels and perennial pools. The presence of deeper pools (0.5 – 1 meter deep) appeared to provide refuge habitat.