Habitat use of an endangered beetle Carabus hungaricus assessed via radio telemetry

  • November 22, 2019
  • by Bérces, S., & Růžičková, J.

Carabus hungaricus is an endangered habitat specialist of tall-grass steppe occurring in the Pannonian region. In this study, we used radio telemetry to examine whether habitat type (different habitat patches in steppe mosaic), sex, time of day, temperature and air pressure affect the activity of this species. During the reproductive period of C. hungaricus in October 2017, we equipped ten individuals, five males, and five females, with small 0.3 g VHF transmitters and tracked them for seven consecutive days. The average speed of tagged individuals was 1.29 m/h for the fastest individual and 0.21 m/h for the slowest one. The shape of trajectories indicated random walk; only in few cases did beetles cover larger distances between two tracking sessions. Habitat type significantly affected beetle movement; the average speed was higher in grassy patches and common juniper stands, while it decreased in mosses and litter under shrubs. Although there was no effect of sex, time of day, or air pressure on beetles’ activity, the temperature had a positive effect on movement. Beetles’ movement patterns indicated preferred patches within the assumed optimal habitat. The availability of suitable patches within steppe mosaic can be therefore crucial for the persistence of this species.

PUBLICATION AVAILABLE AT: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337680220