Introduction

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Tenneson, M. 1982. The distribution and abundance of the mink frog in Itasca State Park, Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 35 pp.

Introduction:

The mink frog, Rana septentrionalis, is a medium sized, aquatic, boreally distributed frog known for the musky odor it emits when handled. This species is most commonly found in areas of slow-moving water with abundant aquatic vegetation and is common in the Lake Itasca region.

Various sites on and around Lake Itasca in northwestern Minnesota were "spot-censused" at night (in 1981) for vocalizing males to locate the densest breeding populations. This was done in order to maximize the number of behavioral interactions observed during a behavioral ecology project. The area with the densest population of calling males resulted in the capture of only 35 individuals. A review of mink frog literature and communications with various investigators familiar with this species indicated that current population densities were much smaller than previously had been reported in the area.

Specific objectives of this study are to: 1) Determine the current abundance of Mink Frogs at various localities in Itasca State Park, 2) establish baseline population data at several sites for future studies, 3) utilize population data from previous years to determine population trends, and 4) report previously unpublished records of Mink Frog sightings in Minnesota.

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