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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 21  |  Page No.: 1425 - 1429

Monitoring Population Abundance of the Sand Lizard Acanthodactylus scutellatus and their Ant Prey in Oil Polluted Soils at Kuwait’s Greater Al-Burgan Oil Field

M. Al-Hashem    

Abstract: Desert ecosystems in Al-Burgan oil fields of Kuwait were contaminated by heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons due to oil spill generated by the Gulf War in 1990. Studying sand lizard (Acanthodactylus scutellatus) population and their ant prey in the years 2002 and 2003 to detect the effects of oil pollution is now a focus of study. Polluted sites with apparently different degrees of pollution (namely tar mat, soot and clear sites) were compared with control sites outside this region. Total lizard numbers were recorded by using transect method. Number of ants was recorded by walking the transects and counting ants present. The results showed no difference in lizard population between the different study sites in 2002 and 2003 by applying the transect method. No difference in ant populations between the different study sites in 2002 and 2003. Although, the mean estimated lizard numbers were lower at the tar mat sites, the ant number in this location was greatest, meaning that food availability was highest at these sites. This suggests any reduction in the numbers of lizards is unrelated to low resource availability. The lizard numbers at the tar mat sites could be depressed by some property of the pollutants.

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