Do captive golden mantella frogs recognise wild conspecifics calls? Responses to the playback of captive and wild calls
Keywords:amphibians, bioacoustics, behavioural skills, conservation, playback
With so many species being threatened with extinction, captive breeding programmes are becoming an important aspect of ex-situ conservation. Captive populations are important for species conservation and for reintroduction back into the wild. Some of the most important wild behaviours to maintain in captive animals are those associated with sexual reproduction, such as courtship and mating. Amphibian reproductive behaviour is associated with call patterns, with studies demonstrating that male advertisement calls elicit positive behavioural responses from females. This study evaluated the response of captive golden mantella frogs Mantella aurantiaca to playback calls from different wild and captive populations (one generation in captivity and more than five generations in captivity). During the experiment, three different calls were used as treatments: one from wild populations, and two from captive populations. Generalised linear mixed models were used to evaluate the effects of the playback treatments on the behaviour of captive frogs: replicates and enclosures were used as random factors. The model showed that vocalisations from wild individuals led to an increase in movement and social behaviours while calls from captive frogs did not. This was especially true of frogs bred for more than five generations in captivity. This could have negative consequences on the reproduction of captive frogs if released to the wild.
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