Preliminary overview of body condition variation among dice snake populations from transboundary Lake Prespa
Keywords:colour morphs, conservation ecology, Natrix tessellata, snakes
Studies of body condition in snakes are generally lacking and were only done on a few species and with limited sample sizes. Additionally, almost no studies considered how different factors affect body condition. We used a large dataset amassed over a 15 year-long ecological study to make a preliminary screening of body condition index (BCI) variation in a metapopulation of dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) in the region of Lake Prespa. We considered how factors such as sex, food, colour morph, locality and time affect BCI. We demonstrate a positive effect of food (relatively less in males), and lower BCI in females. Importantly, there is a strong seasonal effect, summer months having a positive effect as opposed to spring. The results of our study raise important considerations for future studies on snake BCI, but also conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Vukašin Bjelica, Dragan Arsovski, Marko Anđelković, Marko Maričić, Margareta Lakušić, Stefan Avramović, Ljiljana Tomović
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Macedonian Journal of Ecology and Environment is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.