The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 04. Patterns of reptile road-kills in the Vendée region of western France

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pp. 135-142
Authors: Meek, Roger

Abstract: Road mortalities of two lizard and four snake species were recorded in the Vendée region of western France over a period of four years. Road-kills were more frequent in the foraging snakes Hierophis (= Coluber) viridiflavus and Natrix natrix as well as the lizard Lacerta bilineata, and lower in the small lizard Podarcis muralis and the sedentary snakes Vipera aspis and Natrix maura. Road-kills were found throughout the active year, with differences in size class and monthly frequencies in H. viridiflavus, N. natrix and L. bilineata commencing in June. Pearson rank correlation coefficients revealed a significant positive association between monthly road-kill and monthly live counts of H. viridiflavus and N. natrix, suggesting regular road crossings in these species. Road traffic volume was related to the number of road deaths using regression analysis of the log-transformed data. This gave an allometric equation with an exponent of 0.75, which was not significantly different from 1, the exponent required if road-kills increase in direct proportion to increasing road traffic volume. The highest traffic volume route showed lower than expected mortalities, but fewer numbers of species living in the vicinity. Models of road-kill vulnerability in H. viridiflavus and N. natrix, derived from the integration of size frequencies of road-kill and live distributions, predict high vulnerability in small and large individuals. In lizards, particularly L. bilineata, road basking is probably the main factor determining mortality, in addition to species velocities, traffic volumes, road widths, abundance at the sides of roads, and behaviour and activity patterns.

Keywords: LIZARDS, SNAKES, TRAFFIC VOLUMES, BEHAVIOUR

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.