Metapopulation Dynamics of the Natterjack Toad

Metapopulation Dynamics of the Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita)

Researcher: Aurélie Aubry

Contact : aurelieaubry@yahoo.fr

Telephone:  00353 21 490 1944

 

Project Description

 

Funding Body: IRCSET
Programme: Embark initiative
Project type: PhD
Period: Oct 2004 - Oct 2007

 

I am investigating several aspects of the conservation ecology of the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) at 11 distinct sites in Co. Kerry, South West Ireland. The project is attempting to place the toads in an ecosystem context.  The main aim of the study is to investigate how toad populations are influenced by their biotic (predation) and abiotic (habitat complexity) environments. Regular field surveys carried out in 2004, 2005 and 2006 enable me to investigate whether the toad population demographics (in particular survival of toads from eggs through to toadlets) are influenced more by the intensity of the predation pressure within the breeding ponds than by environmental variables (e.g. pH and water temperature).  I have been working in collaboration with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), in order to better assess the conservation status of the toads in Ireland . Another major aim of my research project is to determine whether some of the Kerry sites function as metapopulations, by carrying out mark- recaptures on juvenile and adult toads. I am also investigating how toad tadpoles contribute to the functioning of the pond ecosystems by carrying out microcosms experiments.

List of Publications

Aubry, A. & Emmerson, M. (2005). Monitoring of Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in Ireland , Breeding season 2004. Report to National Parks and Wildlife Service. April 2005.

 

Bécart, E., Aubry, A. & Emmerson, M. (2006) Monitoring of natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in Ireland , Breeding season 2005.  Report to National Parks and Wildlife Service.  March 2006.

 

Aubry, A. & Emmerson, M. (under review) Importance of transient consumers for the functioning of pond ecosystems, Journal of Animal Ecology.

Bécart E., Aubry A. & Emmerson M. (under review) Monitoring and conservation assessment of natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in Ireland , Breeding seasons 2004, 2005 and 2006.  Irish Wildlife Manuals, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland .

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork

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