Understanding movement patterns and their biotic and abiotic correlates is crucial to effectively manage and conserve salamander populations of concern. Because information on Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus) movement patterns is limited, we tested several biological hypotheses about factors affecting their movements on the basis of data from 69 salamanders fluorescently tracked during spring of 2015 and 2016 in the Bankhead National Forest, northern Alabama. We found Green Salamanders primarily in rock crevices but also observed use of trees. Green Salamanders traveled through leaf litter but did not use it as a daily refuge. There was a significant difference between salamander body temperatures in daily refugia and ambient temperatures, indicating that refugia effectively buffer the species from ambient conditions. Green Salamanders moved an average of 4.98 m (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.88–6.08) per night. Total distance traveled overnight increased with increasing body size for males but decreased with increasing size for females. Individual wandering ratios were affected by body size, with larger salamanders moving in more linear paths than smaller individuals. During nightly monitoring, 23% of salamanders did not leave their starting refuge or returned to it after a night of movement. Net distance movements showed selection of crevices averaging 1.94 m (95% CI = 0.90–2.99) from starting refuges. Our short-term movement study suggests that Green Salamanders use multiple neighboring refuges, follow complex paths in moving between them, and exhibit philopatry to those refuges.
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Vol. 53 • No. 2