Spatial Distribution and Habitat Preferences of Co-occurring Vertebrate Species: Case Study of an Endangered Frog and an Introduced Toad in Fiji

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Title Spatial Distribution and Habitat Preferences of Co-occurring Vertebrate Species: Case Study of an Endangered Frog and an Introduced Toad in Fiji
Author Thomas, Nunia; Morrison, Clare; Winder, Linton; Morley, Craig
Journal Name Pacific Conservation Biology
Year Published 2011
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Surrey Beatty & Sons
Abstract Wildlife management, particularly the conservation of threatened species, often involves habitat management and an understanding of species preferences. Much ecological data used to establish rare and endangered species distributions and/or habitat associations exists in the form of point counts which often violates the assumptions of commonly used statistical techniques. In this study, the spatial distribution and habitat preferences of an endangered, endemic frog (Platymantis vitianus — Fiji ground frog) and an introduced toad (Rhinella marina — cane toad) were observed and mapped on a 60 ha island using a grid of 232 sampling points with 50 × 20 m spacing. The Spatial Analysis by Distance Indices (SADIE) analytical tool demonstrated that despite the wide range of habitats present on Viwa Island, both ground frogs and cane toads displayed clear and defined macrohabitat preferences. Whilst both species showed a strong preference for Inocarpus fagifer forests, there was little overlap in other habitat types with the ground frogs preferring more densely vegetated forest habitats and cane toads preferring more open habitat types close to both permanent and temporary water sources. Within the I. fagifer forests, there was no evidence of overlap in the distributions of the two species. The spatial pattern evident indicates that cane toad and ground frog populations co-exist, probably due to similar habitat preferences. However, a more detailed study on the interactions between the two species within their natural environment is needed to determine the nature and magnitude of the impact of the cane toad on the ground frog.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://pcb.murdoch.edu.au/toc/pcb_contents_v17.html
Copyright Statement Self-archiving of the author-manuscript version is not yet supported by this journal. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version or contact the author[s] for more information.
Volume 17
Issue Number 1
Page from 68
Page to 77
ISSN 1038-2097
Date Accessioned 2011-07-19
Language en_AU
Research Centre International Centre for Ecotourism Research
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Conservation and Biodiversity
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/41025
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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