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Where should I go? Habitat preference of a Mediterranean gecko Schwarz, Rachel, Shai Meiri, and Panayiotis Pafilis.. Tel Aviv University, Israel, 29 Aug 2016. Experiment. doi: 10.18258/7670
I will collect geckos from trees and from under rocks in insular and mainland Greece and run a common experiment on all individuals in the lab. I will place geckos collected in the wild and born in captivity to parents of known origins in an enclosure with both trees and rocks, and observe which shelter they select. I will also use different types of rocks and trees to test if these affect their choice. Additionally, I will place potential competitors and predators in terraria just outside the enclosure to evaluate their effects on shelter choice. Finally, I will test whether the temperature range that each shelter provides influences their preference.
Succeeding in raising enough hatchlings to have sufficient sample size from each location is going to be a major challenge, because mortality rates may be quite high. However, my colleagues in University of Athens and I have more than two years of experience in rearing Kotschyi's geckos, so I have trust in our ability to succeed with this mission.
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