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Keywords:

  • amphibian;
  • newt;
  • Triturus marmoratus;
  • migration;
  • pond;
  • landscape diversity

Abstract

  • 1.
    The marbled newt, Triturus marmoratus, is a vulnerable urodele species (listed on Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive). However, biological information about their migration and the terrestrial habitats they use is relatively scarce. In order to investigate the influence of the surrounding habitats of a local pond on the directions of pre- and post-breeding migrations, adult newts were monitored over two successive years (from February 2000 to June 2001) at a permanent pond in south-western France using a drift fence and pitfall traps.
  • 2.
    In both sexes the entry and exit directions were non-randomly distributed. Furthermore, males and females generally followed similar directions facing an oak forest and avoiding barren areas. However, the directions followed by postbreeding migrants leaving the pond differed from those they followed when coming to the pond.
  • 3.
    The distribution of captures around the pond was related to environmental factors, and more precisely to vegetation within the immediate surroundings of the pond.
  • 4.
    The environmental conditions occurring at the end of the spring postbreeding migration differed greatly from those occurring during the winter prebreeding migration. Thus, vegetation does not exert similar attraction during the two migration periods.
  • 5.
    This raises the importance of microhabitat diversity in the vicinity of the breeding pond, which provides a wide range of suitable shelters in different migration periods. Conservation planning must take into account the ecological requirements of this endangered species in managing buffer zones around the breeding sites.

Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.