Movement behaviour of the common frog (Rana temporaria) in an anthropized mountain landscape: integrated step selection analysis of GPS tracking data
Movement is a key aspect of amphibian ecology as the life cycle of many species involves seasonal dispersal and migration. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how amphibians move across landscapes in relation to landscape structure and resource availability. Modern lightweight GPS loggers and associated statistical tools offer new perspectives to fill this gap. We tracked the movements of 20 adult European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in a human-transformed mountain landscape during summer using GPS tags programmed with a constant 4-hour time interval between fixes. Using integrated step-selection analysis, we demonstrate firstly that frogs strongly selected aquatic habitats over open grassland. Second, ski runs have a negative effect on frogs, indicated by longer movement steps. Weather (air temperature and rain) had no effect on frog movements. These results constitute a promising first step towards studying anuran movement in relation to landscape structure at fine spatial and temporal scales.