Walkway on coastal dunes negatively affects mobility of the spiny–footed lizard Acanthodactylus erythrurus

Carpio, A. J.  Figueras, M.  Tortosa, F. S. 

Abstract

Dune systems are the most degraded ecosystems of the entire European coast, and human activity on the Mediterranean coast of Spain has caused dramatic transformation. In Torredembarra (Tarragona, Spain), a population of spiny–footed lizards Acanthodactylus erythrurus inhabits the few remaining natural dunes and vegetation patches where wildlife coexists with intensive tourism activities. Our aim was to know whether walkways installed across the dunes were affecting the mobility of the spiny–footed lizard. We compared the mobility of marked lizards in two areas with a similar habitat, one with and one without a walkway. We found that the walkway reduced the distances between consecutive resightings, affecting juveniles more than adults. We conclude that the walkway may affect social interactions in the species.

Key words

Dune systems, Habitat fragmentation, Mobility of reptiles, Wooden walkways

Reception date: 5 VII 16 | Acceptation date: 17 I 17 | Publication date: 21 III 17

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