Amphibians and reptiles of the KU Field Station
The list of amphibians and reptiles is broken down into three lists representing the three main locations of the University of Kansas Field Station: Field Station North, Baldwin Woods and Anderson County. Of the 48 species of reptiles and amphibians known from the Field Station as a whole, 38 species are found on properties north of the Kansas River, 21 species on properties in Baldwin Woods in southern Douglas County and 39 species on properties in Anderson County. Properties north of the Kansas River, particularly the Fitch Natural History Reservation, have been sampled thoroughly over many years. In contrast, Field Station properties at Baldwin Woods and in Anderson County are more recent additions to the Field Station and have received relatively little herpetological sampling.
Field Station North properties, including the Fitch Natural History Reservation, contain habitats representative of the ecotonal (transitional) area between Eastern Deciduous Forest and Great Plains grasslands. The Field Station North has received intensive herpetological study since the 1940s. The Fitch Natural History Reservation was sampled over a 60-year period by Henry S. Fitch, who collected thousands of records based upon almost continuous live trapping. Fitch documented changes in the herpetofauna on the reservation over this period as ecological succession from open habitats (field, pasture and prairie) to brush and woodland progressed.
Field Station properties at Baldwin Woods and Anderson County each represent distinctive native habitats: Eastern Deciduous Forest at Baldwin Woods and Tallgrass Prairie at Anderson County. Because the herpetofauna of Baldwin Woods and Anderson County have received less study than at Field Station North, additional species may occur at these two areas. Because of limited information, species on the checklist for these two properties are indicated only as present (x).
This checklist is intended to provide the reader with an overview of the herpetofauna of the KU Field Station. General information on ecology and abundance of many of these species, and others in the region, can be found in Collins et al. (2010), Amphibians, Reptiles and Turtles in Kansas. Likewise, broader information on the local reptiles and amphibians and natural communities can be obtained by contacting the Kansas Biological Survey. Detailed information on the ecology of the herpetofauna of the Field Station can be found in the scores of scientific publications based on research at the Field Station, especially those by H.S. Fitch and G.R. Pisani. Specific questions as to abundance and ecology of Field Station species, and current emphasis of ecological research, can be obtained by contacting the Field Station administrative office. An extensive research collection of amphibians and reptiles is housed at the Natural History Museum on the main campus of the University of Kansas.
In the accompanying lists, species are presented in phylogenetic sequence by family and scientific and common (species or subspecies) names follow the 2014 update of Crother, B.I. (chair). 2012. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, With Comments Regarding Confidence In Our Understanding. SSAR Herpetological Circular 39:1-92. http://ssarherps.org/publications/north-american-checklist/
Codes for abundance and occurrence are as follows:
a = abundant
m = moderately abundant
r = rare
s = single record of occurrence
n = no longer found due to habitat changes
i = introduced species with no extant population
x = documented
We acknowledge Henry S. Fitch and George R. Pisani for providing this information.