ESR 18:169-178 (2012)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00446

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

Mehregan Ebrahimi*, C. Michael Bull

School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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 translocation programme for this lizard.


KEY WORDS: Supplementary food · Translocation · Tiliqua adelaidensis · Conservation


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Cite this article as: Ebrahimi M, Bull CM (2012) Food supplementation reduces post-release dispersal during simulated translocation of the Endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard Tiliqua adelaidensis . Endang Species Res 18:169-178. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00446

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