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Raw data, code, and derived data from: Nonchalant neighbors: space-use and overlap of the critically endangered Elongated Tortoise

Citation

Ward, Matthew et al. (2021), Raw data, code, and derived data from: Nonchalant neighbors: space-use and overlap of the critically endangered Elongated Tortoise, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b8gtht7cm

Abstract

To prevent population extirpations we need to understand a species’ requirements, especially for critically endangered species inhabiting biodiversity hotspots. Studying animal movement provides necessary insights and gauges protected area effectiveness. Southeast Asian protected areas are becoming isolated, stressing the need for maintaining population viability. We used radio-telemetry with the critically endangered Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) to assess: movements, space-use, and conspecific overlap in a small protected area –Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve, Thailand. Movements were weakly seasonal, higher in hot and wet seasons than the dry season, and annual space-use varied (4.24–55.57 ha), with conspecifics frequently overlapping. Conspecific comparisons revealed males (n = 5) moved similarly to females (n = 12) but used larger areas. Despite more instances of conspecific attraction over avoidance (20:8), avoidance/attraction behaviour appeared disconnected from individual size; therefore, interaction patterns may result from resources locations (mates or food) rather than competition (i.e., no evidence of smaller individuals avoiding larger individuals). Female-female attraction suggests no resource exclusion tactics at our temporal resolution. Male-female attraction may indicate seasonal reproductive movements, but we couldn’t detect significant interactive effects linking conspecific attraction or step length to breeding activity. Our observations of annual space-use and overlap present critical components when designing robust population assessments underlining any successful I. elongata conservation effort. In the context of previous work connecting space overlap with population viability, our results suggest the biosphere population of I. elongata to be reproductive, with enough resources to be viable, emphasising the importance of relatively small protected natural areas.

Usage Notes

A basic explanation of the data contents can be found alongside the data in a metadata file.

A warning for those re-using movement data: there are instances where two locations where recorded for an animal on a given day. These days with two locations do not have timestamps and so will cause issues with time-using analyses.