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.

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pdf 03. Habitat occupancy by juvenile natterjack toads (Bufo calamita) on grazed and ungrazed


Open Access


Authors: Jonathan S. Denton And Trevor J.C. Beebee

Abstract: Habitat utilization by natterjack toads (Bufo calamita) during their first two years of life was investigated using a series of replicated 20 x 20 metre squares demarcated on several distinctive habitat types on a heathland in southern England. Two sets of squares, one on ungrazed heathland and one in an area grazed at low density by domestic cattle, were employed and the fate of toadlets released on the squares monitored over three successive years. Habitat use by resident adult natterjacks, and common toads B. bufo, was also recorded as was habitat selection over the site as a whole outside the experimental squares. Although toadlet survival was apparently low (though it was not possible to distinguish mortality from emigration), this and habitat selection by adults were unaffected by the presence of livestock. Juvenile natterjacks utilised the same range of habitats as adults, but the former showed greater preference for damp pond basins and rather less for dry bryophytes compared with mature animals. Common toads were rare in all habitats favoured by natterjacks, but were more often found in ungrazed rather than in grazed terrain.

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