Tracking Toads: Movement Patterns of Gulf Coast Toads (Incilius nebulifer) and the Urban Environment
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Gulf Coast Toads (Incilius nebulifer) are a familiar urban resident in the southeast United States and Mexico. As urbanization increases, the Gulf Coast Toad may be expanding its range. Studying movement behavior can reveal how invasive a species may be and is a key factor in understanding the ecology of a species. This study used standardized movement trials in the field to gather behavioral data from toads in two different urban environments within Houston, Texas. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) differences among urban environments will affect the movement behavior of Gulf Coast Toads, and (2) leg length will affect hopping distance. The results support both hypotheses. I also observed notable qualitative differences in toad coloration between the two sites. Gulf Coast Toads may be an excellent model for observing how different types of urbanization exert different environmental pressures upon a species.