Instructor:                              Dr. Matthew J. Gray (

Phone:                                     974-2740 (office)

Office:                                     247 Ellington Plant Sciences Building

Meeting Time and Place      5:45–7:35         T,R      125 PSB (2 field trips required: 22 March and 21 April)


Course Goal:              To expose students to the life history, ecology, conservation and management of amphibians through a combination of class lectures, readings and field experiences.


Life History Text:      Biology of Amphibians, 1994, 2nd edition (ISBN 080184780X)

Authors:                      William E. Duellman and Linda Trueb


Conservation Text:    Readings will come from contemporary literature and several books.



Academic Assessment:


Weights of Academic Assessments:


WFS 433


WFS 533

● Test #1        



● Test #1        


● Test #2



● Test #2


● Anuran ID Exam



● Anuran ID Exam


● Participation1,2



● Participation1,2





● Scientific Paper3


1Attendance on the 2 field trips is required.  You will earn 10% and 5% per trip for WFS 433 and 533, respectively. 

2If you miss a field trip, you can either: (1) attend the USGS Workshop or SE PARC meeting, (2) write a 10-page

scientific paper on an amphibian topic of your choice, or (3) accept the percent deduction (10% or 5%) in your final grade

corresponding to the appropriate course number.

3Due on 12 April 2007 (although it can be turned in anytime prior to this date); style must follow the

Journal of Wildlife Management (see Volume 70(1):304-320).   


Your course grade will be determined using the following scale:



Final Weighted Percent



Final Weighted Percent






















Extra Credit:             


You can positively influence your final grade as much as 4.5% by volunteering for extra credit.  Volunteer work must be related to herpetofauna, and can include work on university projects, government agencies or NGOs.  For every 8 hours of volunteer work, your final grade will be increased by 1.5% up to 4.5% (24 hours total).  All volunteering must be completed by 26 April 2007.  A volunteer form (see below) must be filled out by the supervising individual.  Scott Dykes and Pete Wyatt (TWRA non-game biologists) often are looking for volunteer assistance (Region 4 Office: 1-800-332-0900;,  Also, Wayne Schacher (consulting biologist for Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge) frequently needs help with herptofaunal surveys (457-4355 home, 


Extra Credit Form



Extra credit also can be earned by attending either: (1) the USGS Workshop: Understanding Agriculture’s Effects on Amphibians and Reptiles in a Changing World (St. Louis, MO) or (2) the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (Chattanooga, TN).  Your final grade will be increased by 3.5% and 2.25% for attending the USGS Workshop and SE PARC meeting, respectively.


Full Syllabus


Teaching Resources:


Required Tennessee Anurans


Required Readings:


TEST #1 Material


1)      Chap 2 (Reproductive Strategies, Duellman and Trueb 1994).

2)      Handouts (1/23/97)

3)      Chap 15, pp. 424-443 (Origin and Evolution, Duellman and Trueb 1994).

4)      Journal of Natural History 32:1403-1409.  (Caecilians: viviparous or oviparous?)

5)      Chap 3 (Courtship and Mating, Duellman and Trueb 1994)

6)      Types of Anuran Calls: MP3 file from The Calls of Frogs and Toads by Lang Elliot (Stackpole Books)

7)      Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Protocol (if you did not attend TAMP Workshop)

8)      TAMP Groundtruthing Protocol (if you did not attend TAMP Workshop)

9)      A Breeding Congress by David Scott (Dr. Rothermel reading)

10)  Rothermel and Semlitsch (2002): Conservation Biology 16:1324-1332


TEST #2 Material


1)      Tadpoles: Macrophagous Predators (Petranka and Kennedy 1999)

2)      Adaptive Plasticity (Newman 1992)

3)      Chap 5 (Eggs & Development, Duellman and Trueb 1994; pp. 116-126, 132-139).

4)      Chap 6 (Larvae, Duellman and Trueb 1994; pp. 159-171).

5)      Chap 7 (Metamorphosis, Duellman and Trueb 1994; pp. 173-189).

6)      Chap 8 (Relationships with the Environment, Duellman and Trueb 1994; pp. 197-223)

7)      Chap 9 (Food and Feeding, Duellman and Trueb 1994; all)

8)      Chap 10 (Enemies and Defense, Duellman and Trueb 1994; pp. 247-259)

9)      Pinder et al. (1992) handout: Estivation and Hibernation

10)  Malformation and Amphibian Decline handouts (2)

11)  Global Amphibian Declines: A Problem in Applied Ecology (Alford and Richards 1999)

12)  Amphibian Declines: An immunological perspective (Carey et al. 1999)

13)  Amphibian Deformities and Ribeiroia Infection (Johnson and Sutherland 2003)

14)  UV-B Radiation Hypothesis (Blaustein et al. 1998, American Zoologist 38 :799-812)

15)  Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Loss of Biodiversity in a Neotropical Amphibian Community (Lips et al. 2006)

16)  The Effects of Amphibian Population Declines on the Structure and Function of a Neotropical Stream Ecosystems (Whiles et al. 2006)

17)  Effects of Clearcutting on Appalachian Salamanders (Petranka et al. 1993)

18)  Effects of Even-Aged Harvest on Amphibians in Maine (deMaynadier and Hunter 1998)

19)  Forest Roads as Partial Barriers to Terrestrial Salamander Movement (Marsh et al. 2005)

20)  Herpetofaunal Road Mortality and Use of Drift Fence and Culverts (Aresco 2005)

21)  Influences of Agricultural Land Use of Postmetamorphic Body Size of Playa Lake Amphibians (Gray and Smith 2005)

22)  Recommendations for Riparian Buffers: Salamanders (Crawford and Semlitsch 2007)

23)  Recommendations for Wetlands Buffers: Amphibians and Reptiles (Semlitsch and Bodie 2003)

24)  Principles for Management of Aquatic Breeding Amphibians (Semlitsch 2000: Journal of Wildlife Management 64:615-631)—Need to get from library.   


Test Preparation

TEST 1:  Test Review


TEST 2:  Test Review


Internet Resources:

Lectures:  Test 1

          Tennessee Anuran Identification                       Tennessee Anuran Identification” (PDF)

                   Podcast: Identifying Tennessee anurans by specimen and call 

          Reproductive Strategies                                     Reproductive Strategies” (PDF)

                   Podcast: Amphibian Reproductive Strategies (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Sandy Echternacht, UTK)

          Amphibian Characteristics & Evolution            Amphibian Characteristics & Evolution  (PDF)

                   Podcast1:  Identifying Tennessee anurans (finish up) and Amphibia and Gymnophiona characteristics

                   Podcast2:  Caudata and Anura Family Characteristics (evolution not included; recording error)

          Amphibian Courtship and Mating                    Amphibian Courtship and Mating” (PDF)

                   Podcast1:  Amphibian courtship and mating: Lecture 1

Podcast2:  Amphibian courtship and mating: Lecture 2

Podcast3:  Amphibian courtship and mating: Lecture 3

          Postmetamorphic Dispersal                               Postmetamorphic Dispersal” (PDF)

Podcast:  Understanding the significance and challenges of juvenile migration in amphibians” (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Betsie Rothermel, APSU)

          Environmental Stressors                                   Environmental Stressors” (PDF)

Podcast:  Environmental Stressors: Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems(Guest Lecturer: Dr. Marshall Adams, ORNL)


Lectures:  Test 2

          Tadpole Development and Ecology                   Tadpole Development and Ecology” (PDF)

          Podcast:      “Tadpole development, ecology and metamorphosis”

          Influences of Cattle                                           Influences of Cattle” (PDF)

Podcast:      “Influences of cattle on pre- and post-metamorphic amphibians” (Guest Lecturers: Liz Burton and Chandler Schmutzer, UTK)

Postmetamorphic Survival                                Postmetamorphic Survival” (PDF)

          Podcast:      “Postmetamorphic survival and community interactions”

Amphibian Sampling                                        Amphibian Sampling” (PDF)

Podcast:      No podcast available (Guest Lecturers: Liz Burton and Chandler Schmutzer, UTK)

Tennessee Cave Salamander                              Tennessee Cave Salamander” (PDF)

Podcast:      “Ecology and natural history of cave dwelling salamanders in Tennessee(Guest Lecturer: Matthew Niemiller, UTK)

Global Amphibian Declines                              Global Amphibian Declines” (PDF)

Podcast1:    “Hypotheses for amphibian declines and malformations”

                   Podcast2:    “Hypotheses for amphibian declines and malformations”

Amphibian Pre-test” (PDF)                       (Guest Lecturer: Pete Wyatt, TWRA)

TWRA Amphibian Monitoring” (PDF)     (Guest Lecturer: Pete Wyatt, TWRA)

Tennessee Salamanders” (PDF)                 (Guest Lecturer: Pete Wyatt, TWRA)

Podcast:      “TWRA Amphibian Monitoring and Tennessee Salamanders”

Agricultural Land Use                                       Agricultural Land Use” (PDF)

          Podcast:      “Influences of agricultural land use on Southern High Plains amphibians”

Amphibian Diseases and Pathology” (PDF)        (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Debra Miller, UGA)

          Podcast:      “Amphibian Diseases and Pathological Evidence”

Amphibian Conservation                                  Amphibian Conservation” (PDF)

          Podcast1:    “Amphibian Conservation and Management Techniques”

Podcast2:    “Amphibian Conservation and Management Techniques”

Chytrid Declines in Panama” (PDF)          (Guest Lecturer: Roberto Brenes, SIU)

          Podcast:      Chytridiomycosis:  An Emerging Infectious Disease of Amphibians



TWRA Amphibian Identification:    

LEAPS Anuran Identification:     


Video Clips of Frog Calls:           


ARMI 5-year Report (Amphibian Declines):


Global Amphibian Assessment:   


USGS Field Guide to Malformations of Frogs and Toads:  


PARC Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Southeastern United States: