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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Use of eDNA to Predict the Presence of Mudpuppies (Necturus Maculosus Maculosus) Along the St. Clair-Detroit River System

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AUTHORS: Jenny Sutherland, Eastern Michigan University, US Geological Survey; David Mifsud, Herpetological Resource and Management; Maegan Stapleton, Herpetological Resource and Management; Amber Stedman, Eastern Michigan University; Edward Roseman, US Geological Survey; James Boase, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Andrew Briggs, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Justin Chiotti, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Katherine Greenwald, Eastern Michigan University

ABSTRACT: The mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus maculosus) is a fully aquatic salamander with a range that spans the Great Lakes region. Mudpuppies are critical hosts for the federally endangered salamander mussel, and, like many other amphibians, are important indicators of good habitat quality. Although this species was once abundant throughout its range, evidence suggests that there have been widespread declines as a result of habitat loss and modification, pollution, lampricide use, and over collection. Land use practices in the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS) have altered habitat, reducing shelter and breeding sites, but information on the current status of mudpuppies is lacking. In 1987 the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were designated an Area of Concern (AOC) under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In an effort to remove the St. Clair River as an AOC by removing the “loss of fish and wildlife habitat” beneficial use impairment, sites along the river have undergone restoration. These sites now provide structures suitable for use as mudpuppy nesting habitat. Mudpuppy occurrence was quantified at these sites, along with other sites along the St. Clair-Detroit River System, using minnow trapping records. Additionally, we are investigating the utility of environmental DNA (eDNA) to aid future monitoring efforts at these locations. Environmental DNA could be a useful tool for monitoring because it is non-invasive and requires minimal field work. We used eDNA sampling and quantitative PCR (qPCR) to determine mudpuppy presence at restored and unrestored locations and compared the results to trapping records. Results from this work will help document the occurrence of mudpuppies in the system and help prioritize management of mudpuppies on a local and range-wide scale, resulting in more successful conservation of this ecologically important species.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom

Attendees (2)