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Terrestrial movements of the natterjack toad Bufo calamita (Amphibia, Anura) in a semi-arid, agricultural landscape

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The movements of 19 natterjack toads (Bufo calamita) were monitored by telemetry in a semi-arid agricultural landscape in NE Spain. Toads reproduced in two water pools in fields of barley and an ancient clayquarrying zone filled by rainfall. Thirteen toads were followed during the breeding season (weeks 5-17 of 1997) and 11 toads were followed after reproduction (weeks 18 to 46). During the breeding season four toads moved distances of up to 500 m between breeding sites. No significant differences in movement patterns were found between the sexes, but a tendency was observed for males to show higher terrestrial site fidelity than females. Distances moved after the breeding season were substantial. The distance between the furthest positions recorded was from 164 to 1201 m, the maximum distance observed between daily recordings ranged from 125 to 353 m and the maximum overall distances ranged from 567 to 4411 m. No significant differences were observed between males and females or between small and large toads. The movements of these toads in a semi-arid agricultural landscape in Spain are compared with those observed in England and Germany.

Affiliations: 1: University of Savoie, UMR CNRS 5553, Laboratory Biology of Alpine Population, 73 376 Le Bourget du Lac, France e-mail:; 2: University of Lleida, Department of Animal Production (wild animals), 125198 Lleida, Catalogna, Spain e-mail:


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