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Movements, distribution pattern and density in a population of Salamandra atra aurorae (Caudata: Salamandridae)

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Spatial behaviour of Salamandra atra aurorae Trevisan, 1982, was investigated by a capture-recapture program during a whole season of activity. Salamanders changed their behaviour with growth: while juveniles usually dispersed on the ground, adults showed a strong fidelity to a limited area, a few square metres wide, also from year to year. Each individual frequently changed its diurnal refuge over the course of the whole activity season, choosing among a large variety of potential shelters. The distribution pattern of the home ranges was slightly aggregated, irrespective of age and sex. Under the assumptions of a closed population and an equal catchability among individuals, a density of 475 (±184; 95% confidence interval) salamanders per hectare was estimated in a mature and quite open wood, whereas a density of 97 (±23; 95% confidence interval) salamanders per hectare was estimated in a thicker wood.


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