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Habitat selection of two sympatric species of Ameiva in East Costa Rica

Author(s): Esther Sebastián-González | Ramón Gómez

Journal: Acta Herpetologica
ISSN 1827-9635

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 347;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Identifying the differences in habitat use for sympatric species is important for understanding the species preferences and the limits of population distribution. We studied the differences in the habitat use of two understudied sympatric species of Ameiva (A. festiva and A. quadrilineata) in a natural reserve of the Caribbean coast of Coast Rica. Ameiva quadrilineata showed a more restrictive habitat use pattern than A. festiva. A. quadrilineata’s smaller body size may be one of the factors limiting its habitat range. Both species showed higher density in regenerated forests, while A. quadrilineata was never found in swamp forests. The air temperature and the meteorological condition at the moment of the survey also influenced the occurrence of the A. quadrilineata, while the juveniles of A. festiva were only affected by the meteorological condition. None of the studied variables seemed to affect the occurrence of A. festiva adults. The results of this study can be useful to evaluate possible changes in the species distribution patterns as a consequence of direct (i.e., deforestation) or indirect (i.e., climate change) human activities in the distribution area of these species.

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