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Abstract

I evaluate the results of a short-term study on the effects of prescribed burning on terrestrial amphibians and reptiles on Fort A.P. Hill, Caroline County, Virginia. Six species of amphibians and reptiles were observed in unburned sites and eight species were observed in burned sites. More individual amphibians (46) were observed in unburned stands than in burned stands (15). Adults of two species (Bufo americanus, Plethodon cinereus) were found dead under logs in the still smoldering prescribed burn. The results of this study suggest that prescribed burning may have some negative effects on amphibians and reptiles. Because the literature on this subject from eastern North America is contradictory, it is premature to make broad scale geographic generalizations. More studies with replications are needed to provide evidence that prescribed burning is harmful to terrestrial amphibians and reptiles in the mid-Atlantic region.

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