The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 04. Use of fluorescent pigments and implantable transmitters to track a fossorial toad (Pelobates fuscus)

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Open Access

pp.69-74

Authors: Christophe Eggert

Abstract: Compared to other vertebrate groups, movement patterns and micro habitat use in amphibians has been little studied. The two goals of this study were (1) to compare two different methods of tracking amphibians (implantable transmitters and fluorescent pigments); and (2) to characterize movement patterns and habitat use in the nocturnal, fossorial spadefoot toad (Pelobates fuscus). A fluorescent pigment method was useful for microhabitat studies, as trails could be detected in all kinds of terrestrial habitats, even under wet conditions. Using this method it was possible to trace complete nocturnal movement patterns (maximum distance moved: 73m). Implantable transmitters were particularly appropriate for fossorial species, such as Pelobates fuscus. Diel home range and microhabitat preferences were more precisely defined using a combination of telemetry and pigments. In addition, the vertical component of habitat use could be assessed . The spadefoot toad was more likely to use areas of bare soil or short vegetation and seemed to avoid shrub-covered areas. Mean distance moved between two successive burrows was higher in females (22.9 m) than in males ( 1 2.9 m).

Keywords: amphibian movement, fluorescent pigments, microhabitats, Pelobates fuscus, radiotelemetry

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