Food supplementation reduces post-release dispersal during simulated translocation of the endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis)

Mehregan Ebrahimi, Christopher Bull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Translocation is among several tools available to conservation managers, either to augment existing populations, or to establish populations in previously occupied habitat, or in habitat identified as suitable for the future persistence of the species. Translocated reptiles do not always become established at the release site. We simulated a translocation site for an Endangered Australian skink, the pygmy bluetongue lizard Tiliqua adelaidensis, to investigate whether adding food would encourage released individuals to disperse less. We provided artificial burrows in a central release area within circular cages and found that lizards were more likely to remain in a burrow, spent less time exposed on the ground surface and were less likely to move out of the central area when food was provided. These modified behaviours are likely to encourage translocation success if lizards with added food expose themselves less frequently to predators, and if fewer of those lizards disperse away from the translocation site in the early days after release. We suggest that the provision of supplementary food will be an important component of any trans -location programme for this lizard.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-178
    Number of pages10
    JournalEndangered Species Research
    Volume18
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Conservation
    • Supplementary food
    • Tiliqua adelaidensis
    • Translocation

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