Amphibian occurrence in artificial and natural wetlands of the Teanaway and lower Swauk River drainages of Kittitas County, Washington
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In the forests of eastern Washington (USA), small wetlands are created for recreational purposes, as an unintended consequence of forest management activities, and to provide water for livestock during summer months. However, the role these artificial wetlands play in supporting amphibian populations is largely unknown. In this preliminary study, we described the amphibian community at 8 artificial and 11 natural wetlands in the Teanaway and lower Swauk River drainages of Kittitas Co., Washington, during the 1995 breeding season. Artificial wetlands were smaller than natural wetlands but occurred at similar elevations and had similar numbers of gross habitat types. Amphibian species richness at each wetland varied from 0 to 4, but there was no difference in species richness between artificial and natural wetlands, and no clear pattern of species association with either origin type. Small, artificial wetlands, even those designed for livestock watering, may support a similar compliment of amphibian species to small, natural wetlands in this region of Washington State.