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Mine Spoil Prairies Expand Critical Habitat for Endangered and Threatened Amphibian and Reptile Species

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine–TH, Rm. 135 Holmstedt Hall, ISU, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA
Department of Biology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, 47914 252nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57198-0001, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2009, 1(2), 118-132;
Received: 27 October 2009 / Accepted: 13 November 2009 / Published: 17 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)
PDF [808 KB, uploaded 18 November 2009]


Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibian; reptile; declines; habitat loss; prairie amphibian; reptile; declines; habitat loss; prairie

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lannoo, M.J.; Kinney, V.C.; Heemeyer, J.L.; Engbrecht, N.J.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W. Mine Spoil Prairies Expand Critical Habitat for Endangered and Threatened Amphibian and Reptile Species. Diversity 2009, 1, 118-132.

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