Effect of habitat structure on abundance and body conditions of two sympatric geckos, Cyrtodactylus saiyok and Cyrtodactylus tigroides, in the karst forest of western Thailand

Akrachai AKSORNNEAM, Yik-Hei SUNG, Anchalee AOWPHOL*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Deforestation is a major threat to biodiversity worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia. In western Thailand, reptiles are an important part of tropical rainforest ecosystems and karst forests. However, basic ecological studies of many species are largely lacking. Therefore, we studied two sympatric gecko species, Cyrtodactylus saiyok and C. tigroides, that inhabit karst forests and are restricted to western Thailand. We investigated the habitat variables that affect their abundance and body condition in Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand. We found that the abundance of C. saiyok increased with increasing plant density and decreasing canopy cover. For both study species, body condition was positively correlated with canopy cover. The two species differed in their microhabitat use, and C. tigroides prefers more karst outcrops and stays higher above the ground. Our findings highlight the importance of an intact forest structure for the survival of geckos and thus reiterates that it is crucial to conserve karst forests in Southeast Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-407
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Natural History
Volume57
Issue number5-8
Early online date30 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Thailand Research Fund (DBG6080010); and the Center of Excellence on Biodiversity (BDC), Office of Higher Education Commission (BDC-PG4-160022). This work was supported by the Department of Zoology and International SciKU Branding (ISB), Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University. This research was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University (project number ACKU61-SCI-007). We thank Jitthep Tunprasert, Attapol Rujirawan, Korkhwan Termprayoon, and Siriporn Yodthong for assistance with fieldwork and suggestions.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Zoology and International SciKU Branding (ISB), Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University. This research was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University (project number ACKU61-SCI-007). We thank Jitthep Tunprasert, Attapol Rujirawan, Korkhwan Termprayoon, and Siriporn Yodthong for assistance with fieldwork and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • bent-toed gecko
  • conservation
  • ecology
  • habitat variables
  • microhabitat

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