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Ministry of Environment

Visual Surveys

Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana)

All species and life stages can be surveyed visually at breeding sites or along roads and much information is gleaned from this survey technique. However, greater time and skill are required as it takes time to develop a search image to find cryptic amphibians and reptiles. Surveyors walk along the shoreline of a breeding site, along a stream/riparian area, section of road, on a tallus slope, or outside a snake hibernation den recording all species and life stages encountered. Repeat surveys increase the probability that species will be detected. Some questions that can be answered with visual surveys are:

  • Approximately how many females lay eggs at a wetland site in any given year and does this change over the years?
  • When are eggs laid and when do tadpoles metamorphose at this site each year? (related to climate change)
  • Are there migration “hot spots” across certain roads? Is there high mortality due to traffic on these roads?

As with call surveys, visual surveys can be focused on a particular area or it can be done along a transect or route. The BC Frogwatch coordinator can help you with site selection, methods and data reporting. The coordinator may also be able to suggest resources for establishing the survey. Please do not hesitate to call.

Road Transect
Egg Mass Surveys
Visual Surveys

  » Check other survey methods