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Artificial burrows with basal chambers are preferred by pygmy bluetongue lizards, Tiliqua adelaidensis

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
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Elijah J. StaugasSchool of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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Aaron L. FennerSchool of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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Mehregan EbrahimiSchool of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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C. Michael BullSchool of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

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Natural refuges are sometimes supplemented with artificial refuges to enhance populations of endangered species, or to improve the success of translocation and relocation programs. The design and structure of these artificial structures should incorporate key features of natural refuges. We aimed to improve the design of artificial burrows currently used in the conservation of the pygmy bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis, by comparing burrows with or without a basal chamber. We found that lizards chose burrows with chambers significantly more often, but that neither the size of the chamber, nor the substrate lining the chamber influenced the choice. Incorporating a basal chamber into the design of artificial burrows should provide more favourable artificial refuges for these lizards and should be incorporated into future conservation management programs.

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