Ecological traits affect species’ responses to human impacts. Amphibians are declining worldwide and one of the major causes of such decline is habitat loss. Forestry practices have a primary role in determining habitat loss and fragmentation for amphibians. Thus, researchers should provide forest practitioners with essential information in order to address proper forest management plans. Here, we studied ecological requirements in the terrestrial phase of salamanders and we tested the feasibility of repeated counts to infer habitat determinants of salamanders’ abundance in order to guide forest management plans. We employed the N-mixture models for the analysis of repeated count data of an Italian endemic salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) on seventy-seven 100 m2 plots, within a central-Italian forest. Modelling salamanders abundance as a function of site specific habitat features allowed us to give precise guidelines for forest management. Harvesting should be conducted preferably on south facing slopes, since salamanders’ occurrence and abundance are higher on northern slopes. Forest operations should be avoided or reduced within a buffer of some 150 m from reproductive sites. Since salamanders use tree bases as shelters, patches of forest with larger trees and higher canopy cover should be retained, ensuring the availability of moist shelters. The amount of the cost for the whole monitoring, from plot installation to data analyses was 4872 Euros (about 5558 USD). Given the ease of application and inexpensiveness of this sampling protocol, we encourage its employment in similar situations, in order to gather useful information, which are essential to couple forestry practices with species conservation strategies.
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