Kristin Szydlik


Seasonal Changes of Body Condition in a population of Fire

Salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) in Vienna

MSc Student
Advisor: Günter Gollmann

Unit for Theoretical Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology
University of Vienna


According to the latest IUCN Red List assessment, the fire salamander is widely distributed in Europe and is classified as ‘Least Concern’. Nonetheless, the number of individuals is decreasing in different parts of Europe due to various reasons. This decline is expected to proceed in the future. Therefore, it is important to monitor healthy fire salamander populations and their current status, as well as the natural changes in body condition throughout the year. With this basic scientific work as a reference ,a potential decline of population size can be detected at an early stage and necessary measures could be implemented.

This Master Thesis aims to monitor a population of fire salamanders at Wilhelminenberg, located in Vienna, to study the condition of the population using the scaled mass index (SMI) by Peig and Green (2009), as an indicator. We will monitor the seasonal change in body condition of individuals using a capture-recapture approach. Therefore, the dorsal pattern will be collected for individual identification to get an overview of this specific population in preparation for following studies. The field data will be collected between October 2023 and June 2024.