Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2013

373  Texas State University  (19851)

Principal Investigator: Dr Sreenivasulu R Venumbaka

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 259,203

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: 2/20/13 <> 6/30/14

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: College of Science & Engineering

Department, Center, School, or Institute: Biology

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: HOUSTON TOAD MONITORING

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: Tres Palacios Gas Storage LLC

Program Title: none


The objective of this award is to evaluate the Houston toad in Colorado County and provide oversight and avoidance options useful for implementing industry work within Colorado County, inclusive of the active breeding and dispersal season. Real-time data on the occurrence and activity of the Houston toad in Colorado County, and specifically in and adjacent to the Copano project at Sandy Creek will be provided. Audio surveys for occupied or historically occupied regions provide the ability to compare the data with the historical survey database for the toad. Potential breeding sites will be examined and the characteristics of the habitat on a local scale to provide real-time occurrence data. Then appropriate nightly conditions will result in audio surveys of the localities and of listening survey routes being conducted to inform us of the activity of the species at the site and adjacent to it. Chorus surveys for amphibian detection are fairly standardized and we have recently published an analysis of our methods which provides statistical evidence that we are unlikely to fail to detect Houston toads at a location should they occur at that pond (Jackson et al. 2006). If Houston toads are detected in an area we then concentrate our efforts to assess the potential for any conflict between that detection and operations. Thus, our efforts enable rapid response and pre-emptive minimization of those conflicts in those areas in which work is being conducted and includes the adjacent context of occurrence enabling us to know the level of activity of this species adjacent to the site. Another type of survey (encounter survey) for amphibians, targeting the Houston toad during nocturnal work, particularly of any potential breeding sites will be conducted as well. In addition to audio and encWe will also conduct line transect surveys along the creek drainage and region between the two work areas to insure that we detect any changes to habitat, Houston toad present, and are able to pre-emptively remove those individuals from harm.When encountered, all of the adult Houston toad individuals will have samples collected in the field. Handling is tied to data recording methods and appropriate sterile technique. All samples are collected from living animals by sterile syringe or scissors and placed into sterile cryogenic storage tubes. In the event of any physical encounters for deceased individuals, tissue samples and appropriate voucher specimens will be salvaged. Samples from other species will also be maintained as part of the demonstration of our activity and successful location of amphibians in the field. Any new voucher specimens representing new County records of vertebrates or invertebrates encountered will be deposited into the Texas Tech University Museum, Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection, and Texas State Vertebrate Teaching Collection as appropriate. Additionally, tissue samples from specimens collected during the course of this study are held within the Michael R. J. Forstner tissue catalog currently housed at Texas State University.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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