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Long and short term residence in refuge burrows by endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards

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The pygmy bluetongue lizard ( Tiliqua adelaidensis) is an endangered species which is restricted to native grassland remnants in South Australia. Individuals live in vertical burrows with a single entrance from which they ambush invertebrate prey. We monitored marked burrows over two entire spring-summer seasons, the period when the lizards are active, and found that the population contained a mixture of dispersers that remained in a burrow briefly, and residents that occupy a burrow for the entire study period. There were more females than males among the residents and most of the burrow abandonment happened in the early spring, the time when male lizards probably move around to seek matings. Our study described burrow occupancy dynamics, and will assist the conservation management of this endangered species.

Affiliations: 1: 1School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685381-00002984
2015-06-05
2018-07-17

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