Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
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Marius Burger
National coordinator of S.A. Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA)
MSc student

Marius is studying the acoustics of the genus Cacosternum (Anura: Petropedetidae) in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Although five different taxa of the genus Cacosternum have been reported from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, spectograms of basic advertisement calls have been published for only two of these species, i.e. C. boettgeri and C. nanum. To date no detailed analyses have been published to describe the call dynamics of these two or the three other species. The different frog call types function in mate recognition and some determine inter-male spacing in choruses. The acoustic repertoire of Cacosternum species may in fact be even more diverse: diversity may be influenced by factors including inter and intra-specific interactions, antiphony, chorus size, call timing (start-up calls versus peaking) and temperature. The aim of Marius's research is to describe the repertoire or vocabulary, i.e. call structure, variation and possible functioning, of Cacosternum species in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. He plans to determine environmental parameters which affect call dynamics in this genus, to describe inter and intra-specific behaviour during calling events and to correlate recognised call groups with known or new taxonomic units. His supervisors are Prof. Allan Channing (UWC) and Prof. Les Underhill (ADU).

Qualifications and experience

Marius completed a National Diploma in Nature Conservation in 1990. From 1987 to 1989 Marius worked for the Cape Department of Nature Conservation in Reserve Management and District Services. Following that, until 1997, he continued working for the Cape Department of Nature Conservation as a research technician in Scientific Support Services. Currently he is working at the University of Cape Town as the National Coordinator of the S.A. Frog Atlassing Project. In addition, he works as an environmental consultant and conducts natural history tours.

Publications

1. Papers in refereed journals

  • Minter, L.R., Burger, M. & Harrison, J.A. 2000. Progress and interim results of the Southern African Frog Atlas Project. African Journal of Herpetology 49(1): 3-8.
  • Fabricius, C. & Burger, M. 1997. Comparison between a nature reserve and adjacent communal land in Xeric Succulent Thicket: an indigenous plant user's perspective. South African Journal of Science 93(6): 259-262.
  • Allsopp, N., Fabricius, C. & Burger, M. 1996. The Bushclump - Mycorrhizal Link : Key to Ecosystem Health in Valley Bushveld. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Valley Bushveld Symposium. Kerley, G., Haschick, S., Fabricius, C. and La Cock, G. (Eds). Grassland Society of South Africa. Special Publication (December): 40-41.
  • Fabricius, C., Ainslie, A. & Burger M. 1996. The Relation Between Socio-political Factors and Biodiversity Preservation in Xeric Succulent Thicket. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Valley Bushveld Symposium. Kerley, G., Haschick, S., Fabricius, C. and La Cock, G. (Eds). Grassland Society of South Africa. Special Publication (December): 11-14.
  • Fabricius, C., Ainslie, A. & Burger M. 1995. A Provisional State and Transition Model for Biodiversity Preservation in Emerging Democracies. Proceedings of the Fifth International Rangeland Congress, Salt Lake City 136-137.
  • Maddock, A.H. La Cock, G.D. & Burger, M. 1995. Feeding trails on captive black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis minor in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 25(1): 32-34.
  • Burger, M. & Branch, W.R. 1994. Tortoise mortality caused by electrified fences in the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 24(1&2): 32-37.
  • Burger, M. 1993. The herpetofauna of Anysberg Nature Reserve, Cape Province, South Africa. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 42: 1-12.
  • Unrefereed papers, popular articles, book reviews and abstracts
  • Harrison, J.A. & Burger, M. 2001. Threatened Riches. South Africa's frogs - a conservation challenge. African Wildlife 55(2): 24-27.
  • Burger, M. & Harrison, J.A. 2000. The Frog Atlas leaps forward. Bird Numbers 9(2): 31-33.
  • Minter, L. Harrison, J. & Burger, M. 2000. Progress Report of the Southern African Frog Atlas Project. Froglog 39: 4-5.
  • Burger, M. Branch, W.R. & Haagner, G.V. 1999. Recent African herpetological literature:18. African Herp News 29: 2-23.
  • Burger, M. 1998?. Book review: (must still get details).
  • Burger, M. 1998. Golden Ark Award goes to Madagascar. Africa - Environment & Wildlife 6(3): 105.
  • Burger, M. & Harrison, J.A. 1998. Southern African Frog Atlas Project (SAFAP): Mapping Frogs. Bird Numbers 7(2): 24-27.
  • Harrison, J.A. & Burger, M. (eds) 1998. Frogs and frog atlasing in Southern Africa. ADU Guide 4. 71 pp.
  • Burger, M. 1997. Eastern Cape Frogs: Part 1 - The Toads. The Naturalist 41(1): 9-12.
  • Burger, M. 1997. The current status of amphibians and reptiles in the Eastern Cape Province. The Naturalist 41(3): 31-34.
  • Burger, M. 1997. Eastern Cape Frogs: Part 2. The Naturalist 41(3): 35-41.
  • Burger, M., Boycott, R.C. & Smith, R.B.T. 1997. The Herpetofauna of the Formosa Conservation Area. In: Proceedings of the Third H.A.A. Symposium, Van Wyk J.H. (ed): 135-139. Haagner, G.V., Burger, M. and Branch, W.R. 1997. Recent African herpetological literature: 17. Afr. Herp News 26: 46-57.
  • Burger, M. 1996. The South African Frog Atlas Project - Latest Update. The Naturalist 40(3): 10-12.
  • Burger, M. 1996. Book review: A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar (Second Edition). Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences. Africa -Environment & Wildlife 4(2): 84-85.
  • Burger, M. 1996. Book review: The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Stephen Spawls and Bill Branch. Africa - Environment & Wildlife 4(3): 84.
  • Burger, M. & Price, C. 1996. Madagascar's unique reptiles and amphibians. Africa - Environment & Wildlife 4(6): 66-74.
  • Haagner, G.V., Branch, W.R. & Burger, M. 1996. Life history notes; Reproduction: Phyllodactylus peringueyi. African Herp News 25: 37-38.
  • Haagner, G.V., Branch, W.R. & Burger, M. 1995. Recent African herpetological literature:16. African Herp News 23: 50-63.
  • Haagner, G.V. & Burger, M. 1995. Life history notes; Avian predation: Agama aculeata aculeata. African Herp News 22: 44.
  • Burger, M. 1994. Herping in Madagascar. Getaway 6(6): 66-72.
  • Burger, M. & De Villiers, A.L. 1993. Life history notes; Size: Xenopus laevis laevis. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 42: 34.
  • Fabricius, C. & Burger M. 1994. Cultural complexity can contribute to ecological and socio-economic resilience in Africa. Abstract in Bulletin of the Grassland Society of South Africa. 5(1): 13-14.
  • Burger, M. & Hahndiek, Q. 1993. Life history notes; Avian predation: Nucras tessellata livida. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 42: 36.
  • Burger, M. & Hahndiek, Q. 1993. Geographical distribution: Nucras tessellata livida. Journal Herpetological Association of Africa 42: 41.
  • Haagner, G.V., Branch, W.R. & Burger, M. 1993. Recent African herpetological literature: 15. African Herp News 20: 52-59.
  • Branch, W.R. & Burger, M. 1992. Geographical distribution: Breviceps namaquensis. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 41: 35.
  • Burger, M. 1992. Geographical distribution: Breviceps fuscus. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 41: 35-36.
  • Burger, M. 1992. Geographical distribution: Bitis cornuta Complex. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 41: 39.
  • Burger, M. & Branch, W.R. 1992. Tortoise mortality by electrified fences in the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, Eastern Cape. Extended abstract in Proceedings of the 2nd H.A.A. Symposium. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 40: 71.
  • Burger, M. & Smith, R.B.T. 1992. Geographical distribution: Bradypodion taeniabronchum. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 41: 37.
  • Branch, W.R. & Burger, M. 1991. Life history notes; Diet: Lamprophis guttatus. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 39: 24.
  • Burger, M. 1991. Geographical distribution: Mabuya occidentalis. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 39: 20.
  • Burger, M. 1991. Geographical distribution: Lamprophis guttatus. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 39: 20.
  • Burger, M. 1988. Geographical distribution: Gerrhosaurus typicus. Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 35: 36.

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