Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Spatial capture–recapture analysis of artificial cover board survey data reveals small scale spatial variation in slow-worm Anguis fragilis density


Schmidt, B R; Meier, A; Sutherland, C; Royle, J A (2017). Spatial capture–recapture analysis of artificial cover board survey data reveals small scale spatial variation in slow-worm Anguis fragilis density. Royal Society Open Science, 4:170374.

Abstract

Vague and/or ad hoc definitions of the area sampled in monitoring efforts are common, and estimates of ecological state variables (e.g. distribution and abundance) can be sensitive to such specifications. The uncertainty in population metrics due to data deficiencies, vague definitions of space and lack of standardized protocols is a major challenge for monitoring, managing and conserving amphibian and reptile populations globally. This is especially true for the slow-worm (Anguis fragilis), a cryptic and fossorial legless lizard; uncertainty about spatial variation in density has hindered conservation efforts (e.g. in translocation projects). Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) methods can be used to estimate density while simultaneously and explicitly accounting for space and individual movement. We use SCR to analyse mark–recapture data of the slow-worm that were collected using artificial cover objects (ACO). Detectability varied among ACO grids and through the season. Estimates of slow-worm density varied across ACO grids (13, 45 and 46 individuals ha−1, respectively). The estimated 95% home range size of slow-worms was 0.38 ha. Our estimates provide valuable information about slow-worm spatial ecology that can be used to inform future conservation management.

Abstract

Vague and/or ad hoc definitions of the area sampled in monitoring efforts are common, and estimates of ecological state variables (e.g. distribution and abundance) can be sensitive to such specifications. The uncertainty in population metrics due to data deficiencies, vague definitions of space and lack of standardized protocols is a major challenge for monitoring, managing and conserving amphibian and reptile populations globally. This is especially true for the slow-worm (Anguis fragilis), a cryptic and fossorial legless lizard; uncertainty about spatial variation in density has hindered conservation efforts (e.g. in translocation projects). Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) methods can be used to estimate density while simultaneously and explicitly accounting for space and individual movement. We use SCR to analyse mark–recapture data of the slow-worm that were collected using artificial cover objects (ACO). Detectability varied among ACO grids and through the season. Estimates of slow-worm density varied across ACO grids (13, 45 and 46 individuals ha−1, respectively). The estimated 95% home range size of slow-worms was 0.38 ha. Our estimates provide valuable information about slow-worm spatial ecology that can be used to inform future conservation management.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 13 Sep 2017
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:reptile, Anguis, density, spatial capture-recapture
Language:English
Date:13 September 2017
Deposited On:13 Sep 2017 15:15
Last Modified:13 Sep 2017 15:19
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN:2054-5703
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170374

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 459kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)