Assessing the terrestrial movement patterns and habitat preferences of the common toad (Bufo bufo) in a montane area of Central Spain

Authors: D av D; Erin L Muths; B os J
Contribution Number: 458
Abstract/Summary

Widespread amphibian declines and habitat fragmentation, coupled with advancements in tracking technology, have sparked increased emphasis on studying movements and the use of terrestrial habitats by amphibians. Peñalara Natural Park, Sierra de Guadarrama, Central Spain, provides habitat for a number of amphibians that use upland sites. In response to increased pressure on habitat in this region by tourism, we used 4 months of radio telemetry data for 17 adult Common Toads (Bufo bufo) to characterize the terrestrial movements, assess the factors influencing these movements, and determine the distribution and cover characteristics of summer refugia for these toads. We found that: a) movements were most pronounced following the breeding season in June and adults made movements of up to 470 m away from breeding sites, b) movements were not influenced by basin size, climatic variables or the sex the individual, c) the amount of terrestrial habitat used by toads ranged from 245 m2 to 2.5 ha, and d) within these areas toads most often used rock piles and juniper patches (Juniper communis nana) as cover during the summer. Our study emphasizes the importance of considering terrestrial landscapes when developing conservation strategies, and we suggest that a buffer of minimal development extending 550 m from the shoreline of each natal pond be considered when conservation plans are developed for Common Toad habitat in Peñalara.

Publication details
Published Date: 2012
Outlet/Publisher: Journal of Herpetology
Media Format: .PDF

ARMI Organizational Units:
Rocky Mountains, Southern - Biology
Topics:
Species and their Ecology
Place Names:
Spain
Keywords:
amphibians; behavior; ecology; research
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