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Do demographic aspects of neighbouring lizard populations differ? A case study with the common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis

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Demographic and morphological aspects of two nearby subpopulations of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) were studied, by a capture-mark-recapture procedure, at an archaeological site in the surroundings of Rome, central Italy. In both sites, the births peak was observed in September. Adult sex-ratio was skewed towards males in one subpopulation, but was close to equality in the other. Morphological characteristics were consistent in the two sites, with males always exhibiting larger snout-vent-length and head size. Population size and density, computed by a Jolly-Seber index applied by using POPAN model revealed differences between subpopulations, with lizard density being much higher in the site with higher habitat heterogeneity and shelter availability. Tail condition was similar between sites. The general implications of these data are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Roma Tre, viale Marconi 446, 00146 Roma, Italy; 2: Centro di Studi Ambientali Demetra s.r.l., via Olona 7, 00198 Roma, Italy


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