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The Population Ecology of the Gekkonid Lizard (Gehyra variegata (Dumeril & Bibron)) in Exploited Forests in Northern New South Wales

H. Robert Bustard
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Feb., 1969), pp. 35-51
DOI: 10.2307/2739
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2739
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Population Ecology of the Gekkonid Lizard (Gehyra variegata (Dumeril & Bibron)) in Exploited Forests in Northern New South Wales
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Abstract

1. The distribution of Gehyra variegata is limited by the availabilty of suitable shelter which occurs beneath bark of dead trees or stumps. 2. Shelter is much more abundant in an exploited forest and populations are accordingly more numerous than in a virgin forest of the same type where only dead or lightning struck trees provide micro-habitat. 3. The population studied was composed of 80% adults, the remaining individuals being in their first or second year of life. One half of the total population consisted of breeding females. G. variegata reaches sexual maturity at the end of its second year but does not breed until its third year. Females lay one egg at a time and two ovipositions occur each summer. Incubation success seems to show an inverse relationship with rainfall. 4. The recapture data showed seasonal fluctuations in the ease with which recapture could take place due to slight shifts in micro-habitat occupied, such as retreat to deeper crevices during the winter. Due to marked bias in sampling it was not possible to get an accurate estimate of population size. However, the data indicated that the size of the population remained stable throughout the study. Repeated recaptures of individuals indicated that this species is long-lived. 5. The population size appears to be correlated with the available home-sites. It is suggested that the population is regulated through intraspecific competition for home-sites in the males and for home-sites in conjunction with food supply in the females.

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