Understanding how organisms move through landscapes is important for predicting the effects of landscape structure on the population dynamics and spatial distribution of organisms. Despite the accepted importance, the ability to orientate when moving is a poorly studied phenomenon. In this study we report on a translocation experiment in which we used fluorescent powder to study the ability of the arboreal gecko Gehyra variegata to orientate successfully between trees. The relocation experiment demonstrated the ability of translocated geckos to return to the tree of initial capture. Further, we investigated the set of rules geckos employ, when travelling through their structured habitat. Computer simulations relating capture-mark-recapture data to structural components of the habitat revealed that movement rules taking vision into account showed the best fit to the empirical data. The movement rule: "move randomly to one of the three next neighbouring trees that are visible" described the observed movement best. This movement rule connects all trees in the habitat and lowers the predation risk during movement.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|