Distribution of Amphibians and Reptiles Along the Truckee River System

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Distribution of Amphibians and Reptiles Along the Truckee River System Powered By Docstoc
					Howard R. Panik, Western
                       NevadaCommuntyCo ege,2201WestNye Lane,CarsonCtV Nevada89703
Sherry Barrett, U. S. F sh and W dl fe Service4600 Kietzke
                                                         Lane.BLrding C, Reno,Nevada89502SO93

Distribution Amphibians Reptiles
           of         and      Alongthe TruckeeRiverSystem

t rom 28 Yar ro 22 .{ugust 1992, !n hr,Iriv.  sun e! of the amphibians anrl reptiles along the dLirc l.nsrh of the Truckee Hiv.r
slstrt Nrs conducted durDs drorrght r!nditions. The man ol,ir tivr $rs to determine the . ur(1,r ,lislrilrution of amphil)ians ar{l
Onh nvo species (I'ar:ific rtorus Irog and west.rr t{irr.striel sarler snake (7. .lp.6duil) {frc
                                                                                          lbund along rhe chrir(i 1r!ckcc Rirer.
Thc distfiburion ol lhe northen lqrard lrog rppears to be derteasi,,s dnd is no$ to onlv ! sn,!l stretch of the ri!{ir.
on the literatur: anrl our knowledge of thc lx al hiirrleloliluna, indiliduals                                               ,,1 LLr:s. species shonld oc.ur $iLh;n rh. Truckee [tirer
l ; { r N i n t l n N o r l h $ e s t . o t h e r p l r l s o l L h i , t , n i l e d S r a l e s .a n d r h c w o r l d .

lntroduction                                                                                                       pole pine (P coalona) Iith a ii:r' marshv arciLsthat
The'l'ruckee River originates in Oalifornia at Lakc                                                                have small ponclsand a let'mountain rncaclorls.
Tahoe near Tahoc Citv and flows for about 16l                                                                         his upper sLretchof the river has a last to rnoder-
Lm int,, the l,reat Br-irr $h, r, it emltie. irr,,                                                                 ate rate of llow ancl rvould be classified as a moun-
l'1'ramid Lake in northtcstem Nevada. During nor-                                                                  tain stream or rivef. Thr: lower stretchof the Truckee
mal conditions. the rate of flor,".is more than                                                                    liom about Verdi to Pvramid (ahout 96 km) flot's
14,004.5 I per sccondt'ith mosl of the $atcr com                                                                   through a dccriduousforest that contains primarilv
ing liom Lake Tahoe. The lakc t'ater flons over                                                                    black cottorrwood(Prpttlu; trichntnryal and Irenont
a nallrral r;m at nn elevation ol 1.900 m. lhe                                                                     crrttonvood (,1'.y'emod;t). a fe$ a€iriculturalafeas,
Trrrckcc Rir,'eralso gains rvatcr from its manv tribu-                                                            a few marshv areas. some small municipalities, lhe
taries as it ilors to*arcl l',vramid LaLe. whicfi is                                                              r:ities of Rcno and SparLs. and an cxtensive cold
situatedar an elcvationof 1.198 m. Sevcrdltribu
                                                                                                                  clesertshrub area typical of the Crcat Basin. This
larics har.ebeen damrncd to counter waler sho -
                                                                                                                  lowcr stretch of the river has a moderate to slol,;
ages. Thus, during drought fl)nditions n'hen the
river carries aborrt 2,839 I per second or lcss.                                                                  ratc of flo$,. t;_pica]
                                                                                                                                        ofa large vallev stream or rivcr.
much of thc        ver's flow comcs from these                                                                    Much of the lolvcr strctch, especially that put o{
rcsenoils,                                                                                                        the liver-betweenWadsvorth and Pvramid Lake
                                                                                                                  is slolr'and pondlike. Beavcr and beaver dams iur:
    Bccause the Truekcc travels through sLrch a                                                                                                 'fhe
                                                                                                                  found along the entirc'.     dams creatc pond-
range of elcvat;ons.the ecosvstemsassociuted$'ith
                                                                                                                  like areas and are more prevalenl during clrought
thc river varr' lrom folcsts (both evergrecn and
                                                                                                                  condilions. Durinplnormal conditions,dams are bro-
dccicluous),molrntain meado$s. meado$,s.and
                                                                                                                  ken duc to the high rate ol flot'. especiallv in the
marshes. to cold clcscrt shrub. At the lo\lcl cteva-
tions, lhc Truckee Rir'er is oftcn bordered bv                                                                    upller prrts ol the river.
ag cr tural and urban dcvelopments
                                                                                                                     Thele is littlc infbrmation atrout amphibians
      'l                                                                                                          and reptiles along thc l'ruckee River. T,insdale
     hc upper part (about 65 km) of the river from
Lake Tahoe almost to Verdi florvsplim:uilv through                                                                (19,10)and La Rivers (19,X2)           orr
                                                                                                                                                reportecl the am-
evereireenforest lhat contains ponderosa pine (Pi,                                                                phibians and reptil:s in Nevada. including speci-
nus pond,eroscr).jeflrey p:nc (P. jeflrqi:). and loclge-                                                          mens collected along the Truckee River. Banta

                                                                                                              Northwest Scicnce. Vol. 6{:}.No. 3, 199,X                           I97
                                                                                                                   O 19.)l br dr riodh*en S( ic'rtllic ,{socirtnn.   All ,ishls n"cN.d
(196i>)publishccla rlistribLrtional                          checklistof am-               the river. Wc also noted potcntialpre)-anclpreda-
phibian-s         and reptilcs inhabiting thc state ol Ne-                                 tols rn lhe arc .
r . r d a . s l r i , h . r l s oe o r r t o i n . ,- , , m e i n l o r m a r i , , r rn
                                                    l                               u
the heryctolauna fornrl along the Tmckec ltiver.                                                \ t t h . - t r r d rs i t , r ' e r e r , , r , l - , l J m b i c nr - m t , , r -
Fint lv, Srebbins(1966) and Behlcr. dal. (1979)                                            atures. walcr tcmperatures, n'ater Ph. rate offlon'.
$rote field guidcs that inclLrrlc                                                          and \ratcr depth. During the Iilsl censusperiod.
                                                          some co\,erage             of
herpctolaunaalong thc Tmckee Rivcr.                                                        the ambient tcmperatureu,asrccorded at various
                                                                                           timcs ol the da1. During the second ancl third
    The objcctive of this stud_v    \{as to determrnc                                      census per-iods,the ambicnt temperature .was
thc current distributionof amphibiansanclreptiles                                          rccorded at Lhc first site visiLrd. middav, and at
(especiallv obligate :r.luatic/ripdlilrlr species)within                                   the last sitc visited. S'atcr. temperature $as
the va ous ecos\,stens along the Truckee ltiver                                            le<rrrclcd a depth of about 2.5 drn. Thc pH rvas
svsteln. l'hroughout the northrvest" other regions                                         rccorded wiLh an elcctronic pH metcr. llate of llrv
of the llnitcd States, anrJ thc torld. arnph;bian                                          uas crlassificd slorv. rnodcrate. or rapid. Thc rla-
popL ationsapprar-to be declining.Thus. another                                            tcr depth was mcasured t'hen iL rcmained constant
objectilc ofthis studr rlas to examine frrr dcclines                                       throughoutthe study silc and t'as estirnatcd                                 t'hen
in amphibian populationsin thc Truckee sysLem.                                             it varied al a site.

Methods                                                                                    Resultsand Discussion
This stud,vwas conducted during drought condi-                                             Eft1)ironmenLel  iacrors - Mean ambicnL rerlpe ra-
tions lrorn 28 May to 22 August 1992. The studv                                            tules for the three censuspcriods lere 26 (range
n'as :u intensilc ccologicalsilr\.cvo{ the amphib-                                          1B ll5oC).24 (range I5-jltoC). and 2l3o(l (rangc
ians and reptiles along the enti.e length of the                                            I 4-35c(). respectivcly.Thus, arnbient tempela-
Truclee Rivcr Sr,stem. addition. $re examincd
                        In                                                                 tures serc higliy favorable lrrr both amphibian and
sites on the Little Tluckcc River beLwccnStam                                              reptilian acti\.it! throughout all thrcc census
pcdc and Boca Rcscr-!oir'.s.e measur.cdenviron-                                            periods. Amtrient tcmperature-q   r,rcr-c
rnental faclorssuch a-\'i!'ater
                              tcmperatureand Ph                                            lbr a rclativcly short periocl of time on onh,-tr,".o
al each study sile.                                                                        days-on July 6. al 0910, the ternpclatur.e      i!'as
                                                                                           I5oC and on August17. at 0920. it *as l,loC.
    We seleded a total ol31 studv sites:27 along                                           Also, on tl,o days, ambient lempclatures irerc
Lhc Tmckee Rirer" lvo along the Littlc l mckee                                             fairlv high for a short period of time-on Junc ,1.
Iliver. ancl hlo at ponds locatcd close to lhc                                             at 1455, the trmpcratlrre was 35oC and on Au-
Truckec River (Figure I and l'able L). We located                                          gust 17, at 1605, it was 35oC.
studv site-raL an avcritge distance of 6.1 km apart
to ensLlreco\.clage ol the entirc Truckee River. S'c                                           Alerage rivcr- temperatures for the iirsl, sec-
also selectedstudv s;tcsthat were acccssible    and                                        ond. and third census pcriods rvere lB (range
thaLappcarcd to h:rve lalorablc hahitat ior amphib-                                         l3-27oC), 20 (range 14-29"C). and 21oC (rangc
ians and leptilcs.                                                                          l7-2BoC), respectir.clv. Even though these
                                                                                           recorded temperatures tr.cre on the avcfage
     [.e investigatedthe studv sitcs three times dur-                                      lowcr than ambient tempcratures, thev lr,crc fil.ora-
ntg 1992 (Table 2). The thrcc censasperiodscn                                              blc for both amphibian and reptili.rrracLnrL;-.
surcd that data *oLrld lr colleted on bleecling and
tadpole dcvcloprnent.We cxamined a mrnrmum                                                     A general increasc in river ternpcrature fiorn
ol 0.,1 krn ol fivcr nt each studv sitc. During an                                         Lake Tahoc to l'vranid T,akc l'as observed, r'ith
irncstigation. binoculars rlcre used 1oassistin iden-                                      rclativel,v low river tcmperalures lrom Lake Tahoe
tilication.We uscd dip nets to collcct amphibians.                                         to abour Reno 13 ro 20oC; lsrud)' Sire I to 2I).
arlLralic snrkes. and potcntial prey such as sm;:l                                         and relatively high temperalores from Lo\.elock to
fish. Sample amphibian l:rrrae \rere preserved in                                          Pyramid l-ake 20 ro 28'C; (StudySires22 to 3l).
vials hrr latcr iclentilication in the laboralorv.                                         Thcsc temperaturedifferencesexplain the distri-
                                                                                           bution of some spcciesalong the Truckee. For ex-
   S.e recorded habitat characteristics for cdch                                           arnplc. bullfrogs (Ranu preler
amphibianor reptilc that las obsencd, and, il the                                          pondlike envbonmentsor slo*-moling streamsrvith
animal was on land. rrc rccorded the distancc from                                         much aquaticand cmcrging vegetation      associated

t98           Panik and Barrett

                                                                                                                 Truckee           River         liatershed

? t i i


 t l r r ' l . r u rL e c R n l r   \\ rtcrl,, rl.

                                                     \ ' n l , \ i l , i r r - . r r l Jl l , 1 ' t i l-, { 1 , ' r ' y l r , l r r r ,L , . l l i v r
                                                                                                                      t                                  I(.)t)
TAULFI l     Nlnre ard clNation    ol lhe 33 stLldr sir.s.                             TIBLE       2. l)ars alirlrl. time:L1ield. and distance censused for
                                                                                                      carh onsus period.
                                                                                                            \umbered                  linr                   [iista!(.
                                                                                       Ifield               lnkl l)urs           Afield (Hrs.l            Qrsuseii lKn,l
   l                t900
   2               1900               F!nn,       Bridse                               ;i26.6'l2                                       21.00                      20.2
                   1896                                                                7i 6 7 l t 3                                    17.50                      2l.8
   I               lB9:l                                                               P,I1.I|22                   3                   12.75                       1U.I
                   11186              Rnlr       Rlnch        Inl                                                 t2                   ->
                                                                                                                                         L25                      60.1
   6               1866               -squav Crtk
                   1826               Brllshearl
   8               1805               cabin creek                                            'l
                                                                                                 he drop in elevation behveen Lake Tahoc and
 t0                l;59
                                                                                       Reno is about 549 m. and onh- I52 m between
 II                t709
                                                                                       Reno and Pvrarnicl Lake. resulting in a fastcl rate
 12,               t;:l I             Ilota Rest Carpgrrrrnd
                                                                                       of llot'in thc upper Truckee Rivcr.'l'he slo$er fate
 1:J'              r731               R , \ i , , s L o n N ' l i l l sC a n p s n e
                                                                                       of flou of the lorr'cr Truckee contr;butes to the
 t1                                   Ilirschdrle
                                                                                       pondlikc habitatassociated                        with this stretchof rhe
 t5                l ar5t)            Hirschdal:           Bridsr
                                                                                       rjvcr. These 11owrates ar.cimpoflant in exJrlaining
                                                                                       d i - l r i b u r i o r . f h , r p " t u f u u n r l o r r g l r i sr i \ ' r s \ - t c m .
 t;                1580                                                                    Although this studv r!as conducted .luring
 l8                                   c(,ldnrn Dirch                                   drougbt r:onditions.  during all rhree ccnsuses   the
 l9'               l,\97                                                               dcpth and amount of florr was sufficient to sustain
 20                l.1l a)            NIUIbCIF PdK                                     a varieLy of fish and amphibian specics. 'l'he big-
 2t                139t               oxboi!       I,srL (HrN'                         gcst diffelence in flori occurrecl lletileen thc scc-
 22                r33rl                                                               ond and third ccnsuses.At some olthe sitcs during
 23                1306               Trucr: CluL           I'ower t'larL              the third ccnsus (August lztrto August 22). there
 2:t,{,            1288               Derhr       Dlh       OrbolL                     $as r noticeable decrcase in florv clue to tlosure
 2,1.B             t2ua               Derbv Dam {Rilet                                 of Boca Rescnoir. Only sites 19 fy'crdi Pond) and
 25                t 2t o                                                              24A (Derbv Darn Oxbor') rvere completely dry. At
 26                121l               S ad,srorth Bridsc                               sitc 2l (Oxbol{ Park. Reno) a pond next to the river
 2l                1220               Sb!.S                                            rr'ascompletelv dry durin€i the second ccnsus (Jul,v
 2B                121:]              Dfe,r oa \tash                                   6 to Julv l3).
 29                120B               Little Niror                                          Throughout the studv the lcvel of Lake Tahoe
 It)               l20l               Ni\,r, Uridse                                    l,".asbelow the natural rim, and water \ras pumped
 JI                119B               North Niron                                      from thc lake over the rim. Water pumped from
'l'lrse sites are not or thr. lrrcker:
                                                                                       the lake generatcd some fairly large pondlike areas
                                       Rirer. Thel are on strcanrs
                                                                                       in thc Truckee Rirer imrncdiatelydotnstream from
tlirt ll,,$ into it or dre\ arc ponrls locared close to rhc rivcr.
                                                                                       Lake Tahoe. Thc Truckee Ri,,er accumulated ad-
                                                                                       ditional flot liom small tr;butaries.
vith lairly high $atcr temperatures.  Thc distribu-
tion of bulllrogs in thc Truckcc Rivel System only                                              of
                                                                                        Spet:ie^: Amphibi,ans and Reptiles Obserxed-
incluclcsthe lower. often pondlike. stretch of the                                     During this stucly,we obserr,cdfour arnphibian spc-
TrLrckee. BulJIrogs $,ere first encountered aL Lhe                                     cies in thrcc different farnilies(Table 3). Of Lhe
Coldron Ditch stud,ysire (Study Site l8).                                              {our species obsencd. trso are strictly aquatic
   Arerage pH of the Trucl.iee Rivcr increased                                         [orrns-thc buffrog (,11.             and the north-
from 8.0 in earlv summcr. to 8.2 in mid-summcr.                                        ern leopard trog (R. pipiens.).In the adr t stage,
and t{) 8.9 in late surnmer.                                                           the Pacific chorus frog is semi-terrestrial. Also, the
   Arnphibiarrs tolcrated a pH range of 6.0 to                                         western toad (8. 6oreas)is esscntiallv terrestrial in
10.4. It does not appear that the pH of LheTluckcc                                     thc adult stage.
River inlluencecl thc distribution patterns oI the                                         Five lizard species in tr,o families were ob-
various amphibians.                                                                    serled along thc Tmckee Rirer (Tablc 3). All live

2O0        Panik and Barrett
T I B L L j l . I i s t o l a n r p h i b i a n n d r c p t i L i a s p e c i e s b s e n e { ld u r i n s r l , i ss t , d \ .
                                              a                     n           o


ORDERT           Saln nLia o. Arura             (Frogs and Tords)

   H\ lida.                                                                                                                         Parific Chorus Frog
                                                                                                                                    \orthr:rrr l.crpard f tog

ORDF,R: \,1,r,,atd ILizdil:                     Jr,d Sn.'kp\)

                                                                  Qtnbetto ui.:tizenii                                              Lonsnosr: l.cr4rer(l Lizard
                                                                  S.4rynnl\ nathter                                                 Dcs.rr Sphr- Li,ar.l
                                                                  *elqwus ocdderttaLs                                               Wcsterr Fence Lizard
                                                                                                                                    S e blotched Lizard
   Teiidre                                                         Cnenidophorus tigrit                                             tresten tr'hiptail
                                                                                                                                    (;opher Snake
                                                                               couchi'                                              \lesteni .A.quatic Carter Snake
                                                                   Ttunuoph: elegans'                                               \lestern Terresrial Carter Snake

 i . h - l . F . i . - :f , . , u , . 4 , : i , r r . rr ; . , . r , | , r ( ,
'Subspecies: T. .. el|gun:: Uounran) Catef Snake

species are t'ell rdapted to dry halritats ancl r:an                                                        system (Linsdalc, 1940t La Rivers 1942; and
be lbuncl alray fr-()m free lvater. However. manv                                                           Banta. 1965). Preferred habitatsfor this species
incliliduals were olien noted closc to the river in                                                         include rivers. ponds, springs. reservoirs/lake. ir
riparinn habitats. All ol these lizards includc in-                                                         rigati{)n overflo$'s, sagebrush flats. anrJ piiion-
- F rt - i n l h e i r d i e l . r ' h i , h r n r l ' r r n , l u n t r r r i p a r i e n
                                                                     i                                      juniper noodlands (Fichter. et al.. 1964; Stebbins.
habitats.                                                                                                    1966). In the             River svslem. most of the
     All thlee snaLe species obscr-lcd during the                                                           suitable habitat for this speciesis found in thc lorver
studv are in the famil-vColubridae (Table:l). Of                                                            eler.ationsespecially that part oI lhe river close to
t h e - e t h r , " . p , , i . - . t h e \ \ c - l e r n . r ' l u r l i cF r r l ' r                      I'_vramidT,ake,and individuals of this specics havc
snake (subspecies: Sicrla Carter Snake (Thanr-                                                               bcen r:ollectedat the southcm cnd of the lake (Lins-
nophis couchi ctrw:hi)) is primarily aquatic. Thc go-                                                        dalc, 1940).
pher srake (subspccics:Creat Basin Copher Snake                                                                  The mountain vellorvJegged frog has been
(Piutophis ctLtentferdeserticolal) and lhe western                                                           rcported in the Lake Tahoe region (Linsdalc. 1940
tcrrcst iil garter snake (subspecies:Slountain Car-                                                          and Banta, 1965). Suitable habitat fof this species
tcr Snake (Thazrnophi^s                elegans elega4s))occut in                                             is streams with moderate 11o1r'and    rocky Lrottoms.
both tcrrcstrial and aquatic habitats.                                                                       This habitat is found in much of thc upper Truckee
    Of the l2 amphibian and reptilianspeciesob-                                                               Rirer. H"r','.r- it i. 'rr'lil,elr hal llre nro.rnllin
 ser\.ed during thc studv. only ii,'e species (,120lo)                                                       yellow-legged   frog occurs in thc main part of the
 arc obligate aquatic/riparianspecics:thc $estern                                                            rilcr systembecauseo[ the presenceoftrout. Brud-
 toad. Pacilic chorus fr-og. northern leopard frog,                                                          lbrd {I989) discovcrcd LhaL     viable populations ol
 bulJIrog, and \{estern aquatic garter snakc.                                                                mountain yellorr'legged   frogs cannot me\ist with
       Based on literature ancl orlr- kno$ledge ol the                                                       trout (Salmo) and brook trout (Sahelinzs) nhich
 lor:alherpetofauna. spcciesof arnphibians
                                  20                                        and                              prc), on tadpoles. It is possible that this frog is
 r e l , t i l e -m r r o c . u r u n l h , T r r r ,L . . R i r e r - 1 . l e m .                            found in some hibutarics to the Truckee River that
 Of these 20 spcoics. only three are obli€iate                                                               har.c suitable habitat for this frog species and do
 aquatic/riparian species:the Creat Basin spadefooi                                                          not contain prcdatorl fish sJreeies.
 Load(Spea intermontano), mountain ycllor!legged                                                                 Toulousc (pers. colnm.) repo ed three pond
 frog (R. mrucosa), and the $,estern pond turtlc                                                             rrrrtles (C. m(mnorato) at Oxbow Park in a 1.1 m
 (Clem.n s nt ar rno ata).     r                                                                             decp pond, *'hich contained many cattails. llc also
    The Creat Basin spadc{oot toad has been                                                                  reforted drat onc of thc three turlles entered the
 reported to be associalcd r,ith the T|uckee River                                                           Truckcc lrhich is connected to the pond

                                                                                        Amphibians and Reptiles Along thc Truckce River                         201
bv a small strearn.I[lhe tcstern pond turtlc is still                                                on the Truckee Rirer at Vcrdi and at 15.3 km east
e\lant in lhc Tmckee Rirer. thc population sizc                                                      ofReno. At stud_"* 28. no hcrn leopard frogs
is vcrr' smtrll. and this species rnar be crtrcmelv                                                  wrrc found in both thc river and in a spring-ied
r rrLrer.rl,l. .rrrlir'.rtiun.
                        t,r                         Tlri- -t'-, i-- \15 rcccnrl!                     pond about 80 m to thf east oI the rivcr. The pond
p - l i l i , , r c , l i L , rL i - t i r r e r r , l . r t h , F r r , l r n g e r ' , 1 1 " -
                                             u                                                       vas about I00 m long, 1,1cm dccp, rvitha rnurldv
c ies Act (Jennings. ai., 1992: unpublishecl
                                        et                                              man-         bottom. Nluch ofthe pond r,".as                  surroundedbv bul
uscript). Burroughs (pers. orrnm.) stated thar irr                                                   rush (Sc,ry&.rocutus). ^ stretch of about 10 m oI
about June. 1993. mcmbers ol the [i.S. Fish and                                                      the northeastern           edge ofthe pond consistcd                   ofsalt
trildlifc Serrice decicledthat tirev rvoulclnot list                                                 g l a - . r n J s n r l g e -t O . : t r n h i S h tg r o r r i r r gn . r r r e t
the western poncl turtle as an endangcrcd species.                                                   substrate.We obscncd severalnorthcrn leopard
Their reason for not listing it r,"asinsullicient data"                                                                            'fhe
                                                                                                     Iiogs in Lhis arca.                    edges of the river ar rhis
cspcciul[ data that indicatesa lack ol substantial                                                   site have grasses. clorcr (Trifolium)- sedgcs, and
ICCllritrnenl.                                                                                       rushes. During Lhc first census. lour of the live
                                                                                                     adults werc found around thc northeastern edge
Distihtttion antl Hobint oJAnLphibiaw Obserued-                                                      of the pond. and onc was noted along the river.
Thrcc speciesol arnphibirurs(the Pacific chorus                                                      During the secondand third censuses,                            morc frogs
1rr-,g.bullirog. and l,".eslern t{)ad) \rclc obser.vedat                                             $.ere observed along the river {3l frogs) than along
rnorc than one sile. whcrcasthe northern leopard                                                     the eclgcsofthe pond (2 frogs). lt appears that the
frogl rra-sfound at only one site along thc l\'uckee                                                 l r u g sr n o r e df r o r nt h - p u n d t . r l r er i \ e r s L , m c t i m c
Rirer {Tablc 4).'l'he Pacifict:horusfrog is the onlv                                                 betweenthe fifst and's possible
anphibian speciesthat appea$ to be locatcd iilonEi                                                   Lhelin late spring or early summer, the lrogs moved
the entire Trucliee River. The bullflog is distriburecl                                              to the pond to brced. and then moved back to the
throughout the lorver'l'ruckee from the Coldron                                                      river. l he presencc of either eggs or in the
Dikrh dow.nstream Pyramid Lake. The distribu-
                      lo                                                                             pond would hn\.e confirmed this pattern; ho$cvcr.
tion of the westcm toad along the Truckce appears                                                                 or
                                                                                                     no egpJs larvae ncrc noted in the pond through-
to be limitcd to a 1er,; :rreasalong thc lot'er.Truckee                                              out the st(rd!.
Rivcr. However. rrLrmbcrs tadpoles (thousands
                               of                                                                         'fhe
at site :lO) and latcr toadlets at these sitcs lyere ven                                                        lower TrLrckcc from about Lockrvood
high. suggesting fairlv largc population o[ aclult
                    a                                                                                downsLreanhas ample breeding and adult habi-
toads.                                                                                               tdt for a variely of amphibian species. 'l'his sec-
                                                                                                     tion oI the is generally pondlike with a slov
       It appearsthat the distributionofthe northern
                                                                                                     rate of ilov; shallor'. t'arm 1!ater; and lar€ie quan-
lcopard fiog along thc Truckee has bcen rcstricted
                                                                                                     tities ol aquatic !egetation including Elodea.
to onh, a small strctch of the river at studv site 2{}.
                                                                                                     Spirogra, and duckrreccl (Iernna) that offcr excel-
 I i r r - l . r l , r l q l 0 r r - 1 , , , r t - , n u r t l r e l nl e o t , a f , il f u t s -
                                                                                                     lent cover for-tadpoles.lioglets, antl toadlets. Also,
                                                                                                     emerging vcgetation ( rushes, seclgcs,
TABLE'1. ,qrxriillc
                           al.,nsth.TfuckeeRirer ulrcn.                                              and a varietv 01 grasses)along thc edges of the
                  anrphibian and reptiliar sq,ccies ere found.
                                                  n                                                  lowcr Truckee River offer excellentcovcr. In con-
                                                                                                     trast. the uppcr"l'ruclee River, liom Lake Tahoc
                                                                                                     (lo$nstreamto about Vcrdi is lacling in breeding
                                                                                                     habitat, i.e., brecding ponds lor egg ancl lar-valde-
                                                 1. 6. 15, 19, 21. 26. 29                            velopmcnt.During drought conditions.major sidc
                                                 211                                                 channcls of the river bccome excellentbrceding
                                                 t l l . 1 9 . 2 1 - 2 7 .2 9 3 1                    ponds that contain adequateaquatic and emcrg-
Qunbclid        lisli.eiii                       2 t. 2P,
                                                                                                     in€rvegetalion. During this studv \'!e obscn'ed Pa-
Sccloporus nngister                              2:l 252. 27. 29, tjl
Sc,.Itpatus oinlenk               i!             16. 18.21. 24. 25
                                                                                                     cific chorus lrog larvae in such habitats. It is
                                                                                                     possible that during norrnal conclitions,     this ob-
Anidophona               tigris                  24.\. 28. 29. 3t                                    serr,cd reproduction does not occur.
Thanhorh^           ..u"lril                     : 1 .7 . t 0 . l l . 1 3 , l 5
                                                                                                     Di:tibution and lltLbitat oJ ReptilesObsened-\t'e
Tlnn,topltis        elesun:'1                    1;. ;. {l-15.l)21.2t.2a
                                                                                                     observcd most of thc lizards along the lou'er
'Subspecies: I. r. roir lzr
                                                                                                               Rirer lrom site 23 (Tracy Clark Porver
'Subspecies:'1. e. ele#ns
                                                                                                     Planl) dol,nstream to Pyramid Lake (Table 9).

202             Panik and Barlett
although n'esteln lence Ezatds (Stelnporusotciden-          drought conditions will severel,v impact eristing am
talr) wcrc founcl upslrean from Tracr Clarl to site                                             on
                                                            phibian and reptilian populations this ri\'er svs-
 L6 (Floriston) an elevation 1.580 m. Bccausc
               at             of                            tcln. Nlost of tbe current populations obse|ved
most lizards ale primarily desert-dwelling animals.         appear to bc doing fairly rrcll. ar{l mr)sto[ these
this distribution patlcrn woul(l be erpectecl.              alc adaptcd b low-n'ateroond;tions.Be(iause        the
    Nlost oi thc l5 desert spin_,- rnagister)  ancl         no hcrn lcopord frog las onlv frrrrndat one site
20 $esLern fence lizards rlere obsrllcd on bill             and its distribution in this system appcar-sto bc
roclis (about one to trro m in cliamcter)along the          decreasing, concern erisLsfor its continuedsur
rivcr. Wcstern .'hiptail iCnernidop   horus tip;t'is.).                                                     of
                                                            r.ival in this rivcr syslcm. Thr clistlibuLion the
longnose leopard lCambeliu rirlizelii), and side-           northern leopald frog also appcars to be,dccrcas-
hloLched (L''td stc,l,L\buiana.)lizlrds shotcd a            ing in other svstcms. Tn an unpublished rnanu-
plcfcrcnce firr sandv or gralellt areas $,ith sclt          script. Hovingh (l990) reported that northern
tered shrubs and/or small rocks (aboul 0.:l b 0.5           lcopard flogs rtcrc ftrund in onlv trvo locationsin
m in diameler).                                                                                          in
                                                            nolth Creat Sall Lake and was not loLrncl either
                                                            llubl Vallc_v Stcptor Basin where it had been
     Thc rnostwidelv distliliutedand abundantrep
                                                            Fported previouslv in thc litcratr.rc. The decreased
Lile observed (53 r'ere countccl) cluring this studv
                                                            distribution of thc lcopard frog in thc Truckee s,vs-
\\as thc scmiaquati|wesLcrn     terreslriaLgartersnake
                                                            tem is possibly duc to srrcccss the introdu<
                                                                                               of               ed
(Table 10). lt appcarsto bc thc only reptilian spe-
                                                            buMrog, *'hich mav not Le (.ompatiblewilh the
cies that lires alonpl the entile strctch of thc
'fhc                                                        northern leoparcl lrog. This hvpothesisis -supported
      lrcstrrn ten-estrial garler snake was olien ob-
                                                            bv N{ovle (197i}) u'ho reporLedthat the bullfrog
serred in the river (10 of53 obserrations;19(/o).
                                                            docsn't appcar to be compatible nith two olher
and lrould oftcn srrim under rocks r,ilren    pursued.
                                                            ranids, thc rcd-lcgged frog (/i. aarurz) and the ixrt-
TLwas also frequently obsened near thc cdgc of
                                                            hill yellonJcggcd frog,(R. botlii). He altributed the
the liver, especially in grassv arcas rvith overhang-
ing mountain alders {,4lnrr.stentLiolio\ Ltr Paci|.<:       disappcaranc'c of R. auror.t frotn Lhe San Joaquin
r,il1ows (Solir lo.riondra). Of 132obsen'ations. the        ValJey. Cali[ornia. and the conLinuing reduction in
aler:lgc distrncc fiom the edge of Lhe rlver $,as           the range o[ 11.6o1lii in this region. to habitat al-
3.6 m.                                                      tefation coupled rvith predation and cornpetition
                                                             fron R. rntesbekno.. Additional suppolt lbr this
    All l0 western aquatic garter snake,( $'ere             hypothcsisis founcl in a report b,vthe Commitlee
counted in or along the upper parl ofthc rivcr frorrr       on Rarc anclEndangcredWildliie Species.1966.
sitc 3 (near Lake Tahoe; 1.896 m il elevation)               Accordingto this repolL.LhebLrllfrog   tas held par-
downstrearn sitc l5 (HirschdaleBridge; I.659
              to                                            tially responsible[or the eliminationol the Vegas
m in elevalion). This highlv acpatic spccics (B of
                                                            Valle_,-[rog. R. pipiensJislrci. Other possible hy-
                                  appealed to have
l0 l,crc olisenecl in water; BO0/o)
                                                            potheses erplaining the decline of wcstcrn lanids
a preference for mountain strcams \!ilh a moder-
                                                             ha,'ebeen leported by Haves,et al.. (1986). Thev
dtc ratc of flo1l and those parts of the river $ith
                                                            suggested that in addition to the introduction ol
olerhanging vegetation such as rvillo$ s and ildcrs.
'f$o                                                         bullfrogs, over harvesting (urrnmercial exploit:r-
     licstcr-naqualic glrler snakesnere obser!ecl
                                                            tion), l'ishpredationare
in swarnp,v. grassv areas with scattcrcd lrilio$s.
                                                             tenable. buL not neressarilr- erclusive. altern:rtive
    Onl,v one Crcat Brsin Cophcr Snake (P c.                 hvpoLhesesaccounting for the decline of l,".esteln
deserLitnkt)J$as observed during the stud1. This             fanrds,
large snake (1..Xm in lcngth) wils in the nver al
silc 26 (Siadsu'orlhBriclge).The river at this site             To determinr the actualcauseof the decreased
had a very slorr rate of flo!,i. an abundanl growlh         distribution of the nor-thernJeoparclfrog in the
of aqualir rleeds. ancl many br.rllfrogtadpolesand          Truckcc svslr:m. more studies are necessarv.A
,vounpJadults.                                              stuclr of rcintroduclionsof lhis speciesin portions
                                                            of thc rirer rvith suitable habiLatthat :rre ffee of
Current Sto.tusontl In1mt of Dnught on Obsened              bullfrogs and predator,y lish appears to be a good
Antphibians ond Reptilcs on the Tru(kee Rircr               one. Reintroduction studies should
Stsrcnr As long as the Truckee River mainlains              ducted rith other ranids throughout the western
even a minimal flo$,. it does not appear thul               [. nircd SraLcs.

                                                  Amphibians and Reptiles Along thc'fruckcc    203
      There is also concern and interest about the                                                                     ve_vsnlong the 1'ruckee. but found no turtles. f)ur-
stahrsof the \lestern pond turlle in this ri!er svs-                                                                   ing this turLles ere obsenecl. Thus, it
tern. Apparently. a fe$ nestern pond Luftlesare                                                                        appen$ that the remaining population of n'estern
still liling in the Truckee River. In an unprrblished                                                                  pond turtles along the Truckee River Svstem is e:t-
manuscr;pt.          Holland (1991) reportecl singlerelia-     a                                                       tremclv small.
blc sight rccorcl for thc Truckcc Rivcr clrainage.
He checked the site and inter\.ie$,ed the reporting                                                                    Acknowledgements
parties in 1987. Also. he reported that the turtle                                                                     Thanks arc duc to Pat Coffin for his assistancrand
rlas a large rnale and probablv represenlsone of                                                                       lo LLrcyKinder for tvping the rnanuscript.The Fislr
the last of this speciesin this area. In 199I. Hol-                                                                    and S ildlifc Scrricc providecl funding for this
l a r r dr u r r p u l ,m a n r r - . t a l - c o n d r rl,. d e r t e n - i r e u r
                        .                     o                                                                        studv.

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                                                                                                                       Gregorr. T.. I'lcc!dn(r..1. !n(l D. ll. Ri\ard.1980.
                                                                                                                                    Snrall Nlrmnal t'rrlution und Pr{r ll!r,llirs                                      b} Lhl
tsarta- ts. H. 1965. A distributional checklist ofthe recentep                                                                      Cater -qrale l/uruqriis  .leadr'. Herpet.,logi.!                                   :16{11:
         riles inhabiring the stare of \evada. Biological -societl                                                                  u 79 U .
         o{ \erada. Occasional I'apers. No. 5: r o.                                                                    H a r r s . \ 1 . t ' - a n d J c r r n i n g s N l . R . 1 . 1 8 6 .I ) r r l i r r o l R a n i d l ' r o s
             . 1965 . .{ disrnburion.l check list o{ t he recent orn                                                               Species in Sestern Noth America are Bu {rogs ftaza
         p h i b i a n s i n h a b i t i r g t h e s t r t c o { N c r a d a . B i o l o g i i i r lS o -                          rzte-sleida R.srrrnsil,l.- Journd ol Hclr:tohgr 20(1):
         r n Lr of Ncvada. Ortusnnal t'apcrs. \o. 7: 1-1.                                                                          .190 509.
8.h1,,.. J. 1.. enrl l. V. King. 1979. Ihc Audubon                                                            L l R n c r s . l . 1 9 , 1 . 2S o n . \ c s A m p h i b i u n a n , l R r p r i l f R c c o r d s
                 l ' n . l d G u i d . r o N o r L L A o . r i c a n R . p L i l c sa b d A r n p h i b '
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                 ians. Alfrrrl A. Knopl \cr Yorh.
                                                                                                                               53 68.
B r a r l l i , r r l - D . l ' . 1 9 8 9 . A l l o t r o p n , r l i s t r i h u L i o no f r r a t i r e i r o g s
                                                                                                             *lalc. J. 11. l!140. '\nphibians and Reptilcs in Neradr.
                !,xl inrulu(dl                     l i s h c s i n h i s h , s nr r a \ o a d a l a k r s o i
                                                                                                                               Prrrrrtlinss of Anrri.en                Acadr:mr ol Arr atrd
                C a l i l i , r r r i a :t m | l n . a t n r n o i t h . n r s a r n . i . f . . t , , f f i s h ; !           . . , i F n ,P - \ o . : J . \ o i j . p t . ' 7 2 ; : .
                f u o d u c t i o n s .( l o p e i a l 3 ) : 7 7 5 7 ; 8 .
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(lommittee on Rare ard Endangered X ildlife ,species. 1966.
                                                                                                                              iciana, on the Ntire Frogs ofthe Srn Joaqunr \raller.
                Rlre and Lndrnsered \i ildlife ofrhr Llnited Sr!r.s. Ru-
                                                                                                                              C u l i l i r r n i a -Q r r r i a ( l ) : l B - 2 2 .
                 rcau ol Sport Fish. tr ildl. Rr:s. Pub. l]1:RA-9.
                                                                                                                       Smith, A. K. 19;7. Atha.tion ot Bulltrogs (Anrphibia: HaD;
F i c h t e r . F l . a n d l l D . l . i n r l e r . 1 9 6 . 1 .T h c r \ r r p h i b i a n so l l h h o .
                                                                                                                                    dae) to Distress Calls of lnrnatLrre Frogs. J. Herpetol.
                The ldsho Shte Lnilersil'                               X'luseum.
                                                                                                                             I t ; 2 3 42 3 5 .
                                                                                                                       -qr.hbins.R.(1. 1966.Ali.l{l Cu . to $r:stcnr      anrl
Receit l7 Septenber1993                                                                                                      .{mphibirurs.   Houghton         Conrpan_r,
                                                                                                                                                     tr'lifflin      Boston.
Acceptedfor ptLblication 18 Januory 1991

2O4                 Panik and Barrctt