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Habitat Use during Breeding and Emigration in Radio-Implanted Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum
Dale M. Madison and Livingston Farrand III
Vol. 1998, No. 2 (May 1, 1998), pp. 402-410
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1447434
Page Count: 9
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Twenty-seven adult radio-implanted Ambystoma tigrinum from four ponds in Long Island, New York, were tracked for up to a year to examine adaptive flexibility in aquatic and terrestrial habitat use. Adults in two exposed breeding ponds preferred deep, vegetated areas. In a heavily shaded pond, the males segregated from the females and preferred nonvegetated areas, and in a pond with bluegills, the adults preferred shallow zones. On land, most resident salamanders remained close to a breeding pond that was immediately surrounded by a steep bank and woods, whereas few stayed close to exposed ponds with little ground cover. Salamanders were facultative emigrators, making major emigratory movements during spring, fall, or both, or not migrating at all. Two displaced salamanders showed normal pond activity but atypical terrestrial movements. Frequent predation occurred in small-mammal runways, most likely by short-tailed shrews. Salamanders excavated tunnels for temporary refuge but used small-mammal runway systems for long-term refuge. These new observations for A. tigrinum show adaptability in movements and habitat use during breeding and emigration consistent with the species' wide distribution in eastern North America.