Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Second Advisor

Thomas Jones

Third Advisor

Dan Evans


During the 2004-2005 field seasons, natural history of a herpetofaunal community was studied on an abandoned contour surface mine in Eccles, Raleigh County, West Virginia. This study is the first natural history investigation of amphibian and reptile populations present on an abandoned mine site. Specific natural history parameters for each order on the mine were investigated to determine what effect the post mining landscape had on herpetofaunal communities. Pond breeding caudates population success was dependent on life history parameters. Anurans were efficient at re-colonization, with 12 of a possible 14 species collected on the mine site. Anuran diversity was linked to niche partioning. Testudine populations were limited by the mine’s landscape, and were not successful at colonizing the mine. Ophidians utilized the mine seasonally when mine thermal regimes did not lead to physiological stress. Overall, the mine favored reptiles and amphibians that displayed generalist species characteristics and favored "R" selection.


Reptiles - Ecology - West Virginia.

Amphibians - Ecology - West Virginia.

Conservation biology - West Virginia.