A Herpetofaunal Inventory of Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

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Abstract/Description: Amphibians and reptiels are vital, often overlooked, components of southeastern ecosystems. Biotic inventories are essential components of wildlife conservation because the yprovide baseline information for management decisions. This study describes research to inveotry the amphibians and reptiles inhabiting Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee, both of which are found in the upstate of South Carolina. A list of 74 species of amphibians and reptiles potentially occurring in and around Lake Keowee and 85 species of amphibians and reptiles in and around Lke Jocassee was generated using known distributional ranges and museum records. A variety of field techniques were used to document the occurrence of 21 species at Lake Keowee, including 8 speices of anurans, 4 salamanders, 7 turtles, 1 lizard and 1 snake. Twenty-four species of amphibians and reptiles were documented at Lake Jocassee, including 5 species of anoraks, 11 salamanders, 2 turtles, 3 lizards, and 3 snakes. Several speices of conservation concern in North Carolina, South Carolina, or both were documented. The green salamander (Aneides aeneus), a federal Species of Concern was documented at three sites. Tow of these occurrences presented new records and were in close proximity to Lake Jocassee. Numerous wetlands where creeks enter Lake Keowee provided habitat critical for several species of amphibians and some reptiles that would likely otherwise not occur there. At Lake Jocassee, numerouse seeps and streems entering the lake provided excellent habitat for several speices of salamanders.
Subject(s): herpetology
amphibians
reptiles
South Carolina
Lake Keowee
Lake Jocassee
Toxaway River