Assessing the range of Houston Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus houstonensis] relative to soil, geology and vegetation over three decades in Bastrop County, TX
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Identifying the habitat and spatial patterns of endangered species is important for research and management of the species and can also be helpful for identifying the geographical and anthropogenic factors that influence their distributions.
The Houston toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] houstonensis) is an endangered species that is endemic to east-central Texas and is currently only found in nine counties, one of which contains federally recognized critical habitat. The Houston toad’s habitat is extremely susceptible to a variety of threats that currently affect the region, including urbanization, wildfire, drought, agricultural practices, and invasive species. These threats and their impacts on habitat availability and quality may cause changes in population distributions. This research uses a GIS to analyze and compare historical and modern Houston toad detection records for Bastrop County, Texas, in relation to soil, geology, and vegetation classification maps to determine if the species distribution has adjusted to occupy different types of soil, geology and vegetation over time. This proposed investigation aims to quantify if, and how, the patterns of Houston toad detection has changed over the observation period. This research is important because it can help elucidate what environmental and anthropogenic factors may be influencing changes to their habitat use.
The results of the study will add to existing knowledge on Houston toad habitat and potentially provide novel information to help explain changes in the distribution of their populations over time. This information can be useful for identifying factors that may be causing changes to Houston toad distributions and that can help inform the conservation and management of the species.
CitationLamberts, A. P. (2021). Assessing the range of Houston Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus houstonensis] relative to soil, geology and vegetation over three decades in Bastrop County, TX. Master of Applied Geography Degree, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.