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1 December 2016 Low Recapture Rate in PIT Marked Urban Populations of the Common Toad
Joanna Mazgajska, Tomasz D. Mazgajski
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Individual marking is necessary for determining various elements of species ecology, but toe-clipping — a method frequently used in amphibian studies, is recently being questioned. Three water bodies (of 0.3 to 1.5 ha in size) used by common Bufo bufo for breeding, located within a large city (Warsaw, Central Poland), were chosen for the study. Captured toads had Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT) subcutaneously implanted under laboratory conditions. Marked toads were searched in consecutive breeding seasons. The recapture rate of males in particular ponds was up to 13% — much lower than in other studies carried out in non-urban habitats. 77% of re-trapped individuals were found in the next season after tagging. There were no differences in the frequency of re-trapped individuals in relation to the toe-clipping treatment, as some marked individuals had part of the toe (two phalanges) clipped for skelotochronological analyses. An individual from this group was observed to have regenerated the clipped toe after one year. We did not find any indication of better body condition among the re-trapped individuals when comparing them to the marked toads at the time they were first captured. The important advantage of PIT tagging is the fact that all individuals are marked in the same way and their handling is similar. This makes it possible to compare various demographic parameters (growth rate, survival etc.). In addition, the number of animals that can be permanently marked using PITs is several times higher than through the use of codes resulting from the clipping of fingers and toes.

Joanna Mazgajska and Tomasz D. Mazgajski "Low Recapture Rate in PIT Marked Urban Populations of the Common Toad," Polish Journal of Ecology 64(4), 586-593, (1 December 2016).
Published: 1 December 2016
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