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30 October 2012 Male-biased movement in pygmy bluetongue lizards: implications for conservation
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Context . Translocation has become an increasingly common tool in the conservation of species. Understanding the movement patterns of some species can be important to minimise loss of individuals from the translocation release site.

Aims . To describe seasonal and sex-biased movements within populations of an endangered Australian lizard.

Methods . We monitored seasonal movement in the endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) by using pitfall trapping, with a total of 49 440 trap-nights from three sites over 2 years. Other studies have shown that individual pygmy bluetongue lizards normally remained closely associated with their spider burrow refuges, with very little movement. Thus, we interpreted any captures detected through pitfall trapping as out of burrow movements. We investigated whether there was any seasonal, age or sex bias in moving individuals.

Key results . We found that male pygmy bluetongue lizards were more likely to move than were females. After adults, neonates were the second-most captured age class. Spring was the peak movement time for adults, whereas movement of neonates occurred in autumn.

Key conclusions . The majority of movement can be attributed to males in the breeding season, whereas females move very little.

Implications . The present study provides some baseline data that would allow more informed decisions about the most appropriate individuals in a population to choose for a translocation program and the times to conduct translocations to allow the maximum chance for establishment.

© CSIRO 2012
Julie A. Schofield, Aaron L. Fenner, Kelly Pelgrim, and C. Michael Bull "Male-biased movement in pygmy bluetongue lizards: implications for conservation," Wildlife Research 39(8), 677-684, (30 October 2012).
Received: 2 January 2012; Accepted: 1 September 2012; Published: 30 October 2012

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