Human Disturbance Influences Behaviour and Local Density of Juvenile Frogs

Authors


Trenton W. J. Garner, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK. E-mail: trent.garner@ioz.ac.uk

Abstract

Habitat can be rendered less suitable because of numerous factors, including the presence of humans. Human disturbance is implicated as a threat for hundreds of amphibian species, but there is a dearth of peer-reviewed literature addressing this topic, and what little is available focuses on adults. Here we present the results of a study examining the effects human disturbance may have on the distribution and behaviour of juvenile Eastern African leaf litter frogs of the genus Arthroleptis. Our findings show that human activity affects the local density of juveniles and strongly influences escape behaviour. These results indicate that costs of human disturbance to juvenile frogs may be severe and that human disturbance may play a role in fragmenting local frog populations.

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