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Movements and habitat use of the endangered giant barred river frog and the implications for its conservation in timber production forests


, : Movements and habitat use of the endangered giant barred river frog and the implications for its conservation in timber production forests. Biological Conservation 96(2): 177-184, December

Movements of the endangered giant barred river frog (Mixophyes iteratus) were followed over 2 to 5 day periods using radio-transmitters and nylon spools. Thirty-one nights of data were obtained from 10 radio-tracked frogs and 45 nights from 22 frogs using spool-tracking. Nightly movements varied from 0 to over 100 m, with a mean of 8.3 m for radio-tracked frogs and 13.2 m for spool tracked frogs. Individuals were found to occupy two distinct daytime shelter positions - inactive under leaf litter or alert but sheltered under vegetation where frogs could avoid predators by jumping away. All frogs were captured and recorded moving within a 20 m wide band either side of streams. Unlogged buffer zones of 30 m width along each side of streams are currently used to protect the breeding habitat of this species from the possible effects of logging operations. The data indicates that these buffers should be effective in protecting the habitat generally used by giant barred river frogs. Further work is required to determine if the over-wintering habitat used differs from the spring-autumn patterns observed in this study.

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