Defining Conservation-relevant Habitat selection by the Highly imperiled Oregon Spotted Frog, Rana pretiosa

We tested the degree of habitat selection at two spatial scales by captive-raised oregon spotted frog (Rana
pretiosa) individuals released at two sites in british Columbia to inform translocation and habitat-based recovery actions for this highly imperiled species. telemetry of captive-raised adults during the post-breeding season (2009 and 2010) suggests that oregon spotted frogs selected for herbaceous and shrub macrohabitats (delineated from high-resolution aerial imagery) that form continuous floating mats or mats interspersed with water. at the microhabitat level, frogs consistently selected for taller vegetation (= 122.9 ± 8.0 cm) and thicker submerged vegetation (= 23.5 ± 2.4 cm), based on comparisons with paired random locations (= 99.2 ± 9.4 cm, and = 13.8 ± 1.9 cm, respectively). Within two study wetlands, microhabitats with < 50% cover of semi-open herbaceous or shrub vegetation were also associated with higher frog presence. these results provide support for the hypothesis that oregon spotted frogs at these sites select for taller, less dense vegetation, irrespective of the floristic composition at the microhabitat scale, but not at the macrohabitat scale. these results from captive-reared animals corroborate findings from habitat-selection studies that used wild-collected animals. Differences in selection at the macrohabitat scale between years suggest that a wide range of wetland types could be considered as candidates for reintroduction efforts. our results emphasize the need for methods that transcend site-specific floristic differences among wetlands to inform potential reintroduction sites and guide habitat restoration activities.