Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Ecology, Population Density, and Translocation of the Snake-Eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii) in Westernmost Populations

Olga Jovanović Glavaš, Ana Kolarić, Mariann Eros, Senka Baškiera, Ivan Damjanović, Dušan Jelić

Abstract


Westernmost population of the Snake-eyed Skink is found in Papuk, Croatia, and is the closest to the population from Ilok, Croatia. So far, the ecology of any of them has not been studied, and here, we document the variation between them. Furthermore, we estimated population density in Papuk using line transects, and quantitatively assessed its viability, i.e., chances for its survival under different scenarios; under current situation, with increased habitat, and with the negative effect of catastrophic events (e.g., forest fires, habitat degradation). Our study suggests that the climate between the two populations differs significantly, while other general requirements of the species remain the same in both locations. In the Papuk area we estimated the total population size from 5036 to 5483 individuals, with a relative density of 97 individuals per hectare. The population viability results suggest that the extinction of the Papuk population is likely to happen due to the negative trend in the number of individuals over 100 years. This implies that the population is not stable and under current condition shows the need for urgent conservation measures. We modeled two measures, 1) restoration of habitat via the removal of black pine plantations, and 2) translocation of the Snake-eyed Skink into two new habitats. Both methods rely on the increase of available habitat, and both were implemented in the study area. In 2014 an area of 900 m2 of black pine forest was removed, and in 2014 and 2016 we translocated 100 individuals per year (altogether 200 individuals) into new habitats. Monitoring data confirmed that the newly established subpopulations are present at both sites, and are reproducing, which could imply that our translocation might be successful.

Keywords


active conservation; Reptilia: Squamata; Sauria: Scincidae; Croatia

Full Text:

PDF

References


Cook R. P. (2008), «Potential and limitations of herpetofaunal restoration in an urban landscape», in: J. C. Mitchell, R. E. Jung, and B. Bartholomew (eds.), Urban Herpetology, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Salt Lake City, USA, pp. 465 – 478.

Courchamp F., Clutton-Brock T., and Grenfell B. (1999), «Inverse density dependence and the Allee effect», Trends Ecol. Evol., 14, 405 – 410.

Engen S., Lande R., and Sæther B. E. (2002), «The spatial scale of population fluctuations and quasi-extinction risk», Am. Naturalist, 160, 439 – 451.

ESRI (2009), ArcGIS Desktop: Release 9.3, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands, CA.

Griffith B., Scott J. M., Carpenter J. W., and Reed C. (1989), «Translocation as a species conservation tool: status and strategy», Science, 245, 477 – 480.

Gruber U. (1981), «Ablepharus kitaibelii (Bibron und Bory 1833) — Johannisechse», in: W. Böhme (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Vol. 1, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden, Germany, pp. 297 – 302.

Harmos K. and Herczeg G. (2003), «Distribution and conservation status of the Snake-eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri) in the Central-Cserhát and surroundings», Fol. Hist. Nat. Mus. Matr., 27, 349 – 357 [in Hungarian].

Heatwole H. and Stuart B. L. (2008), «High densities of a ‘rare’ skink», Herpetol. Rev., 39, 169 – 170.

Herczeg G., Tóth T., Kovács T., Korsós Z., and Török J. (2004), «Distribution of Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri Mertens, 1952 (Squamata: Scincidae) in Hungary», Russ. J. Herpetol., 11(2), 99 – 105.

Herczeg G., Kovács T., Korsós Z., and Török J. (2007), «Microhabitat use, seasonal activity and diet of the snake-eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri) in comparison with sympatric lacertids in Hungary», Biologia, 62, 482 – 487.

IUCN (1987), IUCN Position Statement on Translocation of Living Organisms: Introductions, Reintroductions and Re-Stocking, Technical, World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Jelić D., Kuljerić M., Koren T., Treer D., Šalamon D., Lončar M., Podnar-Lešić M., Janev-Hutinec B., Bogdanović T., and Mekinić S. (2012), Red Book of Amphibians and Reptiles of Croatia, Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, State institute for nature protection, Zagreb, Croatia.

Jelić D., Burić I., Kolarić A., and Erőss M. (2013), 4th Year of Research on Snake-Eyed Skink in the Area of Papuk Nature Park, HHD-HYLA, Zagreb, Croatia [in Croatian].

Jelić D. and Koller K. (2014), National Monitoring Program for Conservation of Wild Species in Croatia: Snake-Eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii), State institute for nature protection [in Croatian].

Jones T. A. (2003), «The Restoration Gene Pool concept: beyond the native versus non-native debate», Restor. Ecol., 11, 281 – 290.

Jovanović Glavaš O., Kolarić A., Eross M., and Jelić D. (2018), «Morphology and reproduction of the Snake-eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii Bibron & Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1833) in western most parts of its range», North-West. J. Zool., 14, e171510.

Lacy R. C. (1993), «VORTEX: A computer simulation model for Population Viability Analysis», Wildl. Res., 20, 45 – 65.

Lacy R. C. and Pollak J. P. (2014), Vortex: A stochastic Simulation of the Extinction Process. Version 10.0.

Lande R. (1993), «Risks of population extinction from demographic and environmental stochasticity and random catastrophes», Am. Naturalist, 142, 911 – 927.

Ljubisavljević K., Džukić G., and Kalezić M. L. (2002), «Morphological differentiation of the Snake-eyed skink Ablepharus kitaibelii (Bibron et Bory, 1833), in the north-western part of the species’ range: systematic implications», Herpetozoa, 14, 107 – 121.

Ljubisavljević K., Tomović L., Simović A., Krizmanić I., Ajtić R., Jović D., Urošević A., Labus N., Đorđević S., Golubović A., Anđelković M., and Džukić G. (2015), «Filling in the gaps in distribution data of the Snake-eyed skink Ablepharus kitaibelii Bibron et Bory, 1833 (Squamata: Scincidae) in Serbia», Ecol. Montenegrina, 2, 247 – 254.

Moulton N. and Corbett K. (1999), The Sand Lizard Conservation Handbook, English Nature, Peterborough, UK.

Petrov B. P. (2007), «Amphibians and Reptiles of Bulgaria: Fauna, Vertical Distribution, Zoogeography, and Conservation», in: V. Fet and A. Popov (eds.), Biogeography and Ecology of Bulgaria, Springer, Netherlands, pp. 85 – 107.

Pilorge T. (1987), «Density, size structure, and reproductive characteristics of three populations of Lacerta vivipara (Sauria: Lacertidae)», Herpetologica, 43, 345 – 356.

Pitt W. C. (2001), «Density of Praire Skinks (Eumeces seprentrionalis) in Old-field Habitats», Am. Midl. Nat., 146, 86 – 93.

Rodda G. H., Perry G., Rondeau R. J., and Lazell J. (2001), «The densest terrestrial vertebrate», J. Trop. Ecol., 17, 331 – 338.

Samarđić I., Radonić G., Pavić G., Škrnjug G., Bačić Čmelar D., and Dumbović Mazal V. (2010), Nature Park Papuk Management Plan, Public Institution Nature Park Papuk, Velika, Croatia [in Croatian].

Schmidtler J. F. (1997), «Die Ablepharus kitaibelii Gruppe in Süd-Anatolien und benachbarten Gebieten (Squamata: Sauria: Scinidae)», Herpetozoa, 10, 35 – 63.

Soulé M. E. (1983), «What do we really know about extinction?» in: C. Schonewald-Cox, S. Chambers, B. MacBryde, and W. Thomas (eds.), Genetics and Conservation: A Reference for Managing Wild Animal and Plant Population, Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, CA, USA, pp. 111 – 124.

StatSoft Inc. (2014), STATISTICA (data analysis software system). version 12, http://www.statsoft.com.

Strijbosch H. and Creemers R. C. M. (1988), «Comparative demography of sympatric populations of Lacerta vivipara and Lacerta agilis», Oecologica, 76, 20 – 26.

Szövényi G. and Jelić D. (2011), «Distribution and conservation status of Snake Eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii Bibron et Bory, 1833) in Croatia», North-West. J. Zool., 7, 20 – 25.

Thomas L., Buckland S. T., Rexstad E. A., Laake J. L., Strindberg S., Hedley S. L., Bishop J. R. B., Marques T. A., and Burnham K. P. (2010), «Distance software: design and analysis of distance sampling surveys for estimating population size», J. Appl. Ecol., 47, 5 – 14.

Vergilov V., Hristov G., Lukanov S., Lambevska A., and Tzankov N. (2016), «First record of Ablepharus kitaibelii (Bibron et Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1833) in Montenegro», Biharean Biol., 10, 65 – 66.

Zaninović K., Gajić-Čapka M., Perčec Tadić M., Vučetić M., Milković J., Bajić A., Cindrić K., Cvitan L., Katušin Z., Kaučić D., Likso T., Lončar E., Lončar Ž., Mihajlović D., Pandžić K., Patarčić M., Srnec L., and Vučetić V. (2008), Climate Atlas of Croatia 1961 – 1990, 1971 – 2000, Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia, Zagreb.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2022-29-2-76-84

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.



You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email sales@ivis.ru