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Neithercut Management Plan. Central Michigan University BIO 541 Wildlife Mangement Fall 2009. Presented by: Caitlyn Bifoss, Jessa Napieralski , Justin Gale, Jacob King. Introduction. Herps of Neithercut Woodland Rana sylvatica Pseudacris crucifer Chrysemys picta Emydoidea blandingii.

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neithercut management plan
Neithercut Management Plan

Central Michigan University

BIO 541 Wildlife Mangement

Fall 2009

Presented by: Caitlyn Bifoss, Jessa Napieralski ,

Justin Gale, Jacob King

introduction
Introduction
  • Herps of Neithercut Woodland
    • Rana sylvatica
    • Pseudacris crucifer
    • Chrysemys picta
    • Emydoidea blandingii
rana sylvatica wood frog
Rana sylvatica – Wood Frog
  • Member of the Ranidae family
  • Broad North American distribution extending from the Southern Appalachians to the Boreal Forest
  • Brown, tan, or rust colored with yellow/green belly
  • Can easily be distinguished by its dark colored eye mask that resembles a “robber’s mask”
rana sylvatica wood frog4
Rana sylvatica – Wood Frog
  • Habitat
    • Commonly found in woodlands during summer months
    • During winter months commonly found under stones, stumps, and leaf litter
  • Feeding
    • Feed on a variety of small, forest-floor invertebrates by catching prey through the use of tongue extension
    • Tadpole R. sylvatica feeds on plant detritus, algae, and also consume eggs and larvae of other amphibians
rana sylvatica wood frog5
Rana sylvatica – Wood Frog
  • Reproduction
    • Seasonal breeders that begin to breed in vernal pools/wetlands very early in the spring, usually beginning as early as March and are the first frogs to begin calling
    • Incubation lengths for eggs vary depending on temperature
    • Egg mass measures about 10 to 13 cm in diameter, and can contain 1000 to 3000 eggs
rana sylvatica wood frog6
Rana sylvatica – Wood Frog
  • Freeze-Tolerance
    • Shows unique ability to hibernate close to the surface in soil/leaf litter and can tolerate many freeze-thaw events
    • Elevated amounts of PGKI, one of the ATP-generating reactions of glycolysis
    • Freezing of blood and other tissues take place
pseudacris crucifer spring peeper
Pseudacris crucifer – Spring Peeper

Characteristics

  • Chorus Frog – high pitched “peep” sounded once per second
  • ~ 22mm in length
  • Dark “X” on the back with cream colored belly
  • Males are slightly smaller than females
pseudacris crucifer spring peeper8
Pseudacris crucifer – Spring Peeper
  • Habitat
    • Most abundant chorus frog in Michigan
    • Found in primarily deciduous woodland, marshes, swamps, sphagnum bogs, and vernal pools.
    • Burrow in soil, fallen trees and leaf litter.
  • Feeding
    • Tadpoles feed mainly on algae
    • Adults feed on small insects
pseudacris crucifer spring peeper9
Pseudacris crucifer – Spring Peeper
  • Reproduction
    • Sexually mature by year one
    • Males establish breeding sites and reside in them from as early as late March all the way to early May.
    • Once in amplexus, both sexes dive to bottom of vernal pool and deposit eggs individually on debris and leaf litter.
    • Females lay between 700-1200 eggs
    • Larvae metamorphosis takes 2-3 months after which leaves the pond for the remainder of life cycle
pseudacris crucifer spring peeper10
Pseudacris crucifer – Spring Peeper
  • Range
    • Wide distribution in Eastern North America
    • Relatively common species that inhabits most anywhere in Michigan, including Neithercut Woodland
the painted turtle chrysemys picta
The Painted Turtle: Chrysemys picta
  • Most widely distributed
  • Brightly marked
  • Four subspecies
    • C. picta marginata
    • C. picta picta
    • C. picta dorsalis
    • C. picta belli
reproduction
Reproduction
  • Courtship activities
  • Nesting between May-July
  • Thermal Dependence
habitat
Habitat
  • Shallow ponds or lakes
  • Slow moving streams
  • Debris to sun themselves
  • Travel distances to find more suitable habitat
emydoidea blandingii blanding s turtle
Emydoidea blandingii - Blanding’s Turtle
  • Member of the family Emydidae
  • Located largely in the Great Lakes region.
  • Truly terrestrial
  • Dark olive colored carapace with yellow markings
  • Yellow throat and chin
  • Hinged plastron
emydoidea blandingii blanding s turtle15
Emydoidea blandingii - Blanding’s Turtle
  • Habitat
    • Prefer a diversity of wetland types, shallow water with abundant vegetation
    • Require sandy, open areas for nesting
  • Feeding
    • Aquatic diet: larval amphibians, crustaceans, insects, fish, mollusks, and plants
    • Terrestrial diet: berries, earthworms, insect larva, slugs, and vegetation
emydoidea blandingii blanding s turtle16
Emydoidea blandingii - Blanding’s Turtle
  • Reproduction
    • Mating takes place in the water.
    • Female turtles lay approximately 3 - 17 eggs in upland habitats, usually between late May and early July.
    • Eggs hatch between mid-August and early October.
management goals objectives
Management Goals & Objectives
  • Maintain Abundance
    • Guide fences
    • Paved road shoulders
    • Underpasses
  • Maintain Wetland/Freshwater Habitat
    • Monitor and control hydroperiods
    • Monitor pond pH levels
    • Create corridors connecting neighboring wetlands
management goals objectives18
Management Goals & Objectives
  • Limit Disturbances Throughout Habitat
    • Monitor invasive species/predators
    • Control use of herbicides around freshwater/wetland habitats
    • Control chemical pollution
management goals objectives19
Management Goals & Objectives
  • Educate Public
    • No pets
    • Local seminars
neithercut woodland
Neithercut Woodland
  • Named after William Neithercut,
  • 252-acre natural area with a creek (Elm Creek) running through
  • Originally owned by Josiah Littlefield during early to mid 1900s
  • Upon Littlefield’s death in 1936, his decedents held onto the land and ultimately transferred the 252 acres of land to Central Michigan
current conditions
Current Conditions

LAND USE

  • Located in Farwell of Clare County Michigan
  • Latitude: 43.857615 Longitude: -084.843785
  • 252 Acres with Walkin McNeel Nature Center
  • Four main trails
habitat quality
Habitat Quality
  • Good source of diverse habitats.
  • Wetland/highland mix good for frog breeding and post-breeding seasons along with hibernation.
  • Other areas in Neithercut have high potential for vernal pools in the spring and into summer.
  • Elm Creek is slow moving and has potential for flooding leading to needs of all the mentioned species.
  • Standing water has organic bottom for turtles to feed along with muddy bottom for hibernation.
management recommendations
Management Recommendations
  • Maintain/Increase Abundance
    • Because of turtles’ longevity, drastic declines in turtle populations can easily go unnoticed.
      • Chrysemys picta - maintain population
      • Emydoidea blandingii -increase population
    • Prevent Road Mortality
      • Build underpasses with a diameter larger than .3 m for safe movement to nesting areas.
      • Pave the shoulders of M-115 to prevent roadside nesting and curb entrapment.
management recommendations24
Management Recommendations
  • Maintain Wetlands/Freshwater Habitat
    • Stringent monitoring of pools and hydroperiods in Neithercut must be done by controlling the length of the hydroperiods and changes in Neithercut watershed.
    • Monitor pH of water in order to detect changes biological and chemical components of the pond.
    • Create corridors encompassing multiple habitats by clear-cutting forest areas that lie in between neighboring wetland areas and vernal pools.
management recommendations25
Management Recommendations
  • Limit disturbances throughout habitat

- Control Typha angustifolia and Phragmites australis

by flooding, mowing, and burning

- Herbicides will not be allowed within 50 meters of

wetlands.

- A barrier/buffer will be created in order to limit the

amount of runoff pollutants from roads.

management recommendations26
Management Recommendations
  • Educate Public
  • Pools where frogs are breeding and developing should be marked off using mesh barrier fencing (25m circumference).
  • Seminars will be held at Neithercut.
  • Informational posters explaining dangers of interacting with some species (Salmonellae).
evaluation and monitoring plans
Evaluation and Monitoring Plans
  • Drift fences to obtain specific counts of wood frogs and spring peepers.
  • Egg mass counts.
  • Surveillance monitoring of turtles from May 1- Oct 1.
  • Water quality
issues of scale in management plan
Issues of Scale in Management Plan
  • Constructing underpasses and guide fences will take most physical effort
  • Population/Habitat Surveys
  • Invasive Species/Predator Control
timeline year one
Timeline (Year One)
  • Fall
    • Apply for funding through grant writing.
    • Send out volunteer interest forms to areas of interest.
  • Winter
    • Construct underpasses and/or guide fences, drift fences, and mesh fencing.
    • Design and print informational posters and pamphlets.
    • Plan and implement seminar programming for the spring.
  • Spring
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle predators (i.e. racoons).
    • Conduct population surveys of Wood Frog.
    • Conduct population surveys of Spring Peeper.
    • Perform runoff sampling.
  • Summer
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle predators (i.e. racoons).
    • Survey drift fencing for Wood Frog.
    • Survey drift fencing for Spring Peeper.
    • Provide invasive management control for Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia.

29

timeline year two
Timeline (Year Two)
  • Fall
    • Re-apply for funding through grant writing.
    • Send out volunteer interest forms to areas of interest.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle predators (i.e. racoons).
    • Survey drift fencing for Wood Frog.
    • Survey drift fencing for Spring Peeper.
  • Winter
    • Contact Clare County Board of Commisioners about road shoulder pavement.
  • Spring
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle predators (i.e. racoons).
    • Conduct population surveys of Wood Frog.
    • Conduct population surveys of Spring Peeper.
    • Perform runoff sampling.
  • Summer
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle.
    • Conduct population surveys of Painted Turtle predators (i.e. racoons).
    • Survey drift fencing for Wood Frog.
    • Survey drift fencing for Spring Peeper.
    • Provide invasive management control for Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia.
    • Begin paving road shoulder of M-115 nearest Neithercut Woodland.

30