Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Second Advisor

Dan K. Evans

Third Advisor

Suzanne Strait


A farm pond approximately 40 years old located in Wayne County, West Virginia was studied to determine the ingress and egress of amphibians and reptiles. In addition to the pond, 2 small marshes were also examined. The study extended from February 2003 to November 2003. The pond is approximately 36 m long and 38 m wide and is located on a south-facing hillside at 202 m in elevation. A drift fence composed of landscaping cloth was constructed to completely encircle the site. At every 5.15 m, funnel traps were positioned on both sides of the fence. Traps were checked daily during the study period.

The most common species found entering and exiting the pond were (in order of frequency) Rana clamitans melanota, Notophthalmus v. viridescens, and Pseudacris c. crucifer. Other species less frequently observed included R. palustris, R. catesbeiana, P. brachyphona, Ambystoma maculatum, Terrapene c. carolina, and Scincella lateralis. Ten other species were trapped while entering or exiting the pond. The most common species trapped within the marshes were P. brachyphona, Pseudacris c. crucifer, Bufo americanus, and Hyla chrysoscelis.

This is the first extended study of amphibians and reptiles in an artificial pond in West Virginia and demonstrates that farm ponds can provide habitats for reproduction and foraging for many species. With the rapid loss of natural pools and ponds due to habitat alterations, artificial aquatic systems play an important role in the preservation of amphibians and reptiles in the central Appalachians.


Reptiles - Habitat - West Virginia.

Amphibians - Habitat - West Virginia.

Pond animals.

Pond ecology.