DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2011.00091

Asian Herpetological Research 2011/2:2 PP.91-96

Age Structure of Females in a Breeding Population of Echinotriton chinhaiensis (Caudata: Salamandridae) and Its Conservation Implication

Knowledge of life history is important for understanding possible connections to population declines. Here, we investigated the female age structure and fecundity of Echinotriton chinhaiensis, one of the most endangered salamanders in the world, using skeletochronology based on specimens collected in 2008 and 2009 from a population in Ruiyansi, northeast of Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The results showed that most female salamanders were between 5 and 6 years of age, with the minimal reproductive age, predicted to be 3 years, and the clutch size correlated to the body size. We argue that both delayed attainment of sexual maturity and low fecundity make this species more vulnerable to extinction.

Key words:skeletochronology, age structure, sexual maturity, fecundity, clutch size

ReleaseDate:2014-07-21 15:50:57

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