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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 34:123-130 (2017)  -  DOI:

Population model of an endangered amphibian: implications for conservation management

Samuel Pinya1,*, Giacomo Tavecchia2, Valentín Pérez-Mellado3

1Interdisciplinary Ecology Group, Department of Biology, University of the Balearic Islands, Ctra. Valldemossa km 7.5, 07122 Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain
2Population Ecology Group, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Carrer de Miquel Marquès 21, 07190 Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain
3Department of Animal Biology, Facultad de Biología, Campus Miguel de Unamuno s/n, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, but for many taxa, robust estimates of demographic parameters to assess population state or trends are scarce or absent. We provide robust estimates of adult apparent survival of the endemic Mallorcan midwife toad Alytes muletensis using individual capture-recapture data collected over 4 yr in a 60 m2 cistern. Moreover, we combined the vital rates into a stage-structured population model to estimate the expected long-term growth rate of the population. Apparent survival estimates of males and females were similar (0.737 ± 0.042 and 0.726 ± 0.045, respectively) indicating that the egg-carrying behavior of males, typical of this species, does not reduce its survival probability. We found evidence of a low local survival of juveniles compared with adults, most likely due to permanent dispersal. Adult population size estimation provided higher tadpole:adult ratios than previously reported for this endangered species, suggesting an overestimation of the previous adult population size. Model projections suggested a stable population, since λ, the expected asymptotic growth rate of the population, was close to 1.00.

KEY WORDS: Capture-recapture · Pollock’s robust design · Population modeling · Alytes muletensis · Balearic Islands

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Cite this article as: Pinya S, Tavecchia G, Pérez-Mellado V (2017) Population model of an endangered amphibian: implications for conservation management. Endang Species Res 34:123-130.

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