Population Ecology of the Riparian Frog Eleutherodactylus cuneatus in Cuba
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A population of the poorly known riparian frog Eleutherodactylus cuneatus was studied for 1 yr along a mountain stream in eastern Cuba. We examined population structure, seasonal and daily activity, growth, and habitat use using mark-recapture and call-point counts. Juveniles were observed during all survey periods with a spike in March. Higher numbers of adults were present in May-July, associated with longer day length, warmer temperatures, and the onset of the rainy season. This was coincident with higher calling activity away from the stream, suggesting an increase in both reproductive and nonreproductive activity in the warmer months between May and September. The number of individuals peaked at 2000-2200 h, but high numbers of individuals were visible throughout the night. Lower activity levels were observed throughout the day. Population size estimates were 84-131 adults and 124-304 juveniles, with averages of 110 and 236 individuals, survival rates were high but capture probabilities were low for a 5-d period in March 2004. Growth rate was negatively related to the size of recaptured individuals, although decreases in growth rate were slight. Frogs were found either in the water (49.7%), or in the banks and on the ground adjacent to the stream where most individuals were found on the ground under the cover of rocks, leaf litter, or large palm fronds. These results provide baseline knowledge of E. cuneatus population dynamics and ecology needed for a rapid detection of any decline this population may undergo in the future.
Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified