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Daily activity profile of the golden mantella in the 'Froggotron' - A replicated behavioral monitoring system for amphibians

Edwards, Wayne M., Bungard, Michael J., Griffiths, Richard A. (2022) Daily activity profile of the golden mantella in the 'Froggotron' - A replicated behavioral monitoring system for amphibians. Zoo Biology, 41 . pp. 3-9. ISSN 1098-2361. (doi:10.1002/zoo.21650) (KAR id:89863)


Research on threatened species in zoos can provide vital information to inform conservation planning and implementation in the field. This is particularly important for rare and cryptic species with behavior patterns that are difficult to observe in the wild. The Critically Endangered golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) is an iconic, endemic frog confined to mid-altitude subhumid forest in Moramanga District, Madagascar. Ecological and behavioral data for this highly threatened species are sparse, and conservation work will need to be informed by both in situ and ex situ research on behavior and habitat preferences. This study utilized environmental information gathered in the field to design a system where behavior and microhabitat use could be measured in captivity. Using replicated climatically controlled chambers (the “Froggotrons”), we analysed the 24-hour activity profile of the golden mantella in relation to temperature and humidity. Golden mantellas showed a bimodal pattern of activity during the day with much less activity during the night. Frogs kept at warmer temperatures (20-25ºC) were more active than those kept under cooler conditions (16-19ºC). However, the bimodal pattern was retained under the different temperatures, although the second peak occurred slightly earlier under warmer conditions. Most activity was observed when humidity levels were above 85%, although less than half of the mantellas were active outside leaf microhabitats during peak periods. These findings can inform ongoing field surveys through determining the optimum times of day to either capture or count golden mantellas for further conservation actions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/zoo.21650
Uncontrolled keywords: amphibian decline, behavior, habitat preference, Madagascar, Mantella aurantiaca
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Richard Griffiths
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 15:48 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Griffiths, Richard A..

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