Use of artificial wildlife ponds by reptiles in eastern Texas
Reptiles and amphibians can make up a significant part of the biomass in some ecosystems in southeastern North America. Habitat alterations occur on most of the land in the United States and can have both negative and positive effects on the herpetofauna. However, some modifications are intended primarily as wildlife habitat improvement, such as the creation of wildlife ponds. We surveyed 8 artificial wildlife improvement ponds in two National Forests in eastern Texas for the presence of reptiles from 2 May 2001 to 27 December 2006 using aquatic mesh funnel traps. We captured 119 individuals of 11 species in the eight ponds. Snakes accounted for over 78% of the total captures while turtles only accounted for 22%. Reptile captures differed across ponds and across forest and were most common between March and October.