Mountaintop Removal Mining Reduces Stream Salamander Occupancy and Richness in Southeastern Kentucky (USA) Biological Conservation

Back at the end of September Brenee Muncy’s paper on the effects of mountain top mining on salamander occupancy was accepted for publication in Biological Conservation. The full text is now available online. This paper uses Bayesian occupancy models to compare communities of salamanders in pristine streams and streams impacted by mountain top removal mining in southeastern Kentucky. The results show consist decrease in the probability of occupancy at the sites impacted by mountain top removal mining for all species. The overall species richness for salamanders was 2.27 (±1.27 SD) in the impacted streams versus 4.67 (±0.65 SD) for control streams, showing a clear negative effect of mountain top mining practices on these delicate environments.

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