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Factors affecting repatriation success of the endangered Italian agile frog (Rana latastei)

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Repatriations and translocations are among the most frequent actions deployed for conservation of amphibians all over the world. However, very few studies have analysed the effectiveness of these actions. The aims of this study were i) to measure the success of repatriations of Rana latastei carried out within a conservation project in Lombardy (Northern Italy) from 1999 to 2001, and ii) to analyse how the environmental factors affected repatriation success. Eighteen ponds were surveyed from February to April 2006, for an overall of 45 field surveys. Each pond was carefully checked for frogs and egg masses. We classified each pond as newly excavated or pre-existing according to habitat management actions and we measured 16 variables concerning micro- and macro-habitat characteristics, human disturbance and presence of predators. Rana latastei was found in 33.3% of monitored sites and the repatriation outcome of tadpole release did not differ between newly excavated and non managed ponds. Habitat variables influenced the success of repatriations, which increased in sites with higher percentage of woodlands. Finally, repatriation outcome was also negatively influenced by human disturbance and predator occurrence.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Pavia. Botta 9, I-27100 – Pavia, Italy;, Email:; 2: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Pavia. Botta 9, I-27100 – Pavia, Italy; 3: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, Corso Venezia 55, I-20121 – Milano, Italy; 4: Museo di Storia Naturale, Università di Pavia. Botta 9, I-27100 – Pavia, Italy


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