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Site fidelity and homing ability in Hyla labialis (Anura, Hylidae)

Article published in volume 13 fascicle 4, of 03/1996, pages 167 - 178



A Colombian highland population of Hyla labialis was studied for 73 consecutive weeks by applying a unique toe clip combination to each of 304 adult male and 181 adult female individuals captured and released in the field. The analusis of a recapture record of 74 % for males and 43 % for females revealed that frogs released at their capture site were reencountered almost exclusively there (98 % males, 89 % females), hence demonstrating site fidelity. The majority of frogs translocated to a release site at a distance of up to 200 metres returned to their original capture site (58 % males, 53 %females), hence demonstrating homing ability. The frogs' spatial behaviour varied in relation to the breeding cycle of the population. After translocation between two successive breeding seasons, most males as well as females homed. When translocated during the breeding season, relatively more males homed and relatively more females remained at the foreign release site. Almost 30 % of all translocated frogs remained at the foreign release site and about 15 % were found at a third site. The short-term reaction to translocation was stronger in males (53 % homed) than in females (31 % homed), but as time passed the discrepancies leveled off and a year later no statistically significant differences remained between male and female spatial behaviour.