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A herpetological survey of the Yawkey Wildlife Center.

Systematic herpetological surveys have become a standard for identifying and cataloging the occurrence of reptiles and amphibians on a given area. It has become increasingly important to identify species occupying natural areas, and to adjust management practices accordingly. As protected lands become the last strong holds of biodiversity it is essential to have a strong picture of what species are present. By identifying species and adapting management practices to preserve biodiversity, future generations are provided a baseline of information to assess the success of management practices. In November of 2003 a 2year herpetological survey began at the Yawkey Wildlife Center. The Yawkey Wildlife Center is an approximately 20,000-acre preserve located at the mouth of Winyah Bay in Georgetown County, South Carolina. The Yawkey Wildlife Center consists primarily of the three islands; Cat Island, North Island, South Island, as well as the surrounding marshes, and bays. Cat Island is the largest of the three islands at 11,182 acres, and was formed when the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway separated it form the mainland of South Carolina. Both South Island and North Island are barrier islands at 3,725 acres and 4,449 acres respectively. The purpose this herpetological survey at the Yawkey Wildlife Center is to identify all species of reptiles and amphibians that occur on the property. According to range maps, 101 reptile and amphibian species' ranges include the area of the Yawkey Wildlife Center. During the course of this survey it is important to utilize methods that cover broad areas, diverse habitats, as well as uncover as many species as possible. Due to the diversity of species that could occur on the Yawkey Wildlife Center property it is important to sample using a variety of techniques to discover the highest percentage of species. After one year of sampling at the Yawkey Wildlife Center 33 total species have been found on the property. 32 were found on Cat Island and 7 on South Island, using a variety of sampling techniques.
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Author:Dillman, James; Mousseau, Tim
Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1U5SC
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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