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 08. Patterns of amphibian road-kills in the Vend?e region of western France

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Open Access

pp. 51-58
Authors: Meek, Roger

Abstract: Amphibian road-kills were monitored over a six-year period (2005–2010) on a series of low traffic volume roads in Ven dée, Western France. Most road-kill was found in the common toad Bufo bufo (39% of all mortalities) and agile frog Rana dalmatina (25.4%). Three species of urodeles constituted 26% of the sample. Lowest road-kill was found in Pelophylax lessonae (4%), which was attributed to a sedentary lifestyle around ponds. Road-kill had a strong temporal aspect and was associated mostly with migratory movements. Significantly higher than expected road-kill was found on low traffic roads bordered by woodland and/or wetlands in R. dalmatina, Lissotriton helveticus and B. bufo and in urban areas greater than expected in Triturus marmoratus, P. lessonae and B. bufo. Less than expected road-kill was found next to monocultures in all species tested. Road-kill was more numerous following rainfall but during dry weather relatively more frequent in R. dalmatina and P. lessonae. This was attributed to foraging activity in R. dalmatina and movement due to pond desiccation during late summer in P. lessonae. Synchronized patterns of road-kill were found in three species of urodeles suggesting similar patterns of movement behaviour. Traffic intensity and road-kill on different roads was not correlated and hence traf fic volume was not a good predictor of road-kill. However, in a regression analysis, road-kill showed a strong association (r 2=0.87) with extent of migratory distances.

Keywords: AMPHIBIANS, TRAFFIC VOLUMES, MOVEMENT BEHAVIOUR, ROAD-KILL, HABITAT

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