Distribution of reptiles and amphibians in the nature park Lastovo Archipelago: possible underlying biotic and abiotic causes
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Natura croatica / Croatian Natural History Museum [Zagreb] - Zagreb
, p. 113-127
University of Antwerp
In this paper we examine the distribution of amphibians and reptiles over the islands of the newly founded Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park (Lastovsko otočje), Croatia. On several field trips between 1996 and 2008, we encountered five species of lizards (Podarcis sicula, P. melisellensis, Dalmatolacerta oxycephala, Hemidactylus turcicus and Pseudopus apodus), one species of snake (Dolichophis caspius), one species of sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and one species of toad (Bufo viridis). We confirm literature data on the presence of some of these species on different islands of the archipelago, and add distributional records for several other islands and islets. Logistic regression analyses show that the variables predicting presence/absence from different islands vary among species. Within species, populations from different islands noticeably vary in body size and shape, scalation, dorsal and ventral coloration, behaviour and density. This observation adds to the value of the study area as a »natural laboratory« for future research into the ecology and evolution of island populations. Although most species seem to be doing well presently, we list a number of possible hazards and concerns.