| || || Thomas, Nunia Teresa|
| || || Distribution and abundance of the Fijian ground frog (Platymantis vitianus) and the cne toad (Chaunus [Bufo] marinus) on Viwa Island, Tailevu, Fiji|
Author:Thomas, Nunia Teresa
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Abstract: The endemic Fijian ground frog (FOF), Platymantis vitianus, has not been seen on Viti Levu for more than 20 years and now occurs in only 50% of its historical range. The cane toad, Chaunus (Bufo) marinus, on the other hand, has a wider distribution throughout the Fiji archipelago. Because of the cane toad's documented negative impacts, through competition and predation, on most native anurans, mammalian and bird species elsewhere in its introduced range, concerns on the impact of the cane toad on the FOF have been raised. Consequently, the main aims of this study were to measure the spatial distribution of the cane toads and FOFs; document the phenology, macro-habitat and nocturnal microhabitat preferences of the FOF and the response of both species to climatic factors on Viwa Island, Tailevu - the smallest of the five islands with extant FOF populations. Standard visual encounter survey (VES) methods were used to survey FOF and cane toad abundance on (a) randomly selected, and (b) fixed mark-recapture transects, on Viwa Island from June 2004-February 2005. Every 50 m point along each transect was spatially georeferenced to calculate spatial distribution and associations using the SADIE system. Morphometric measurements (body sizes, body weight), microhabitat details, habitat details and climatic variables were recorded to determine FOF phenology, nocturnal microhabitat preferences, and response to climatic factors. The spatial distributions of the two species on Viwa Island overlap considerably, but the cane toads are numerically more common and abundant than the FOF. Both species aggregate within the same forest habitat (lnocarpusfagifer forest), but the