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A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, north Madagascar

N D‘Cruze, J Köhler, M Franzen, F Glaw

Abstract


We surveyed the lowland rainforest of the Forêt d’Ambre Special
Reserve in north Madagascar for amphibians and reptiles. We
recorded a total of 20 amphibian and 39 reptile species via
opportunistic searching and pitfall trapping in the first published
survey to focus on this area. Consequently most of the species
found were new records for the area. Approximately half of the
species (51 %) were only found in relatively undisturbed areas
of forest and 61 % appear to be restricted to lowland rainforest
below 900 m elevation. The most vulnerable elements of this
herpetofauna are the three species that appear to be locally
endemic to Forêt d’Ambre (according to the current knowledge):
Boophis baetkei, Brookesia sp. nov., and Rhombophryne sp.
nov. An additional 25 species are considered regional endemics,
14 species are threatened according to the 2007 Red List
of Threatened Species and 15 species are listed on the CITES
appendices. This paper contributes to the current understanding
of Malagasy patterns of biodiversity by documenting the composition, geographical and ecological distribution of the herpetofauna found at this site. Despite its protected status, currently the Reserve is not being managed sufficiently as it is subject to numerous human - induced environmental problems resulting in habitat destruction and should therefore be considered a high conservation management priority. Herein, we provide conservation and development recommendations for this highly diverse site of herpetological importance. Furthermore, we provide an updated and revised species list of the amphibians and reptiles of Montagne d’Ambre National Park and a species list for the private Fontenay Nature Park.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v3i1.44136