Reptiles and other ectotherms depend on favourable environmental conditions, and temperature influences all aspects of their daily lives. Climate change significantly affected many terrestrial species in the past. Since tropical species have limited acclimation responses, temperature effect on movement behavior of the northern bluetognues (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) was investigated and patterns between seasons and populations were compared. Data set consisting of GPS data and weather parameters from two sites in north-western Australia was utilized. Four movement parameters were calculated using R package T-LoCoH. To assess the effect of temperature on these parameters, a novel Hierarchical Bayesian model was developed. The results showed no seasonal difference in temperatures during which lizards have their highest activity. This reveals that bluetongues’ high activity is highly dependent on specific temperatures values. However, credibility intervals were wide, and it is possible that such difference exist, but the analysis failed to reveal it. Additional studies should clarify this.
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Last updated: 05/19/17