Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Hensley

Degree Award Date

Spring 2011

Keywords

Population of Notophthalmus viridescens, Red-spotted newts, Hone Quarry, Briery Branch Lake, Lincoln (Petersen) Index, Leslie (Zippin) Regression Index

Disciplines

Animal Sciences | Aquaculture and Fisheries | Zoology

Abstract

The purpose of this experiment was to compare the population of Notophthalmus viridescens, or Red-spotted newts, at Briery Branch Lake and Hone Quarry. Newts were captured and counted on three different occasions at both locations. Properties of the water and species of fish were noted at both lakes as well. A Lincoln (Petersen) Index and a Leslie (Zippin) Regression Index were used to calculate the newt population estimations. The hypothesis was that the populations would be similar because of the similarities between the two lakes. However, the population estimates turned out to be somewhat different in the two locations. On average, there were more newts at Hone Quarry (168.14) than at Briery Branch Lake (83.70). The quality of the water was very similar for the two locations, so this was probably not the cause of this difference. One explanation is that there could be more predators, in terms of fish, in Briery Branch Lake. Another more likely explanation is that Red-spotted newts are harder to catch at Briery Branch Lake than Hone Quarry due to the abundance of leaf litter and aquatic vegetation to hide under.

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