The reptiles of Mkomazi National Park, Tanzania an updated checklist with some aspects of biogeography
The Mkomazi National Park (MNP) is a protected area representing three major biomes, yet it remains poorly known from a herpetological perspective. Intensive surveys for reptiles were carried out in the MNP during dry and wet seasons in 2018, with the main focus of updating the existing data and assessing the influence of the three biomes on the park’s species composition. Various methods were used to document 55 species, most of which were found during the dry season. The checklist of reptiles of MNP is now updated to 73 species, 97% of which are typical of the Somalia-Maasai biome, equivalent to 54% of all Somalia-Maasai biome species in Tanzania. The MNP was found to be the most discordant in species composition from the contiguous Pare and Usambara Mountains, the latter two areas harbouring Afromontane forest-dependent species. We recommend surveys at Kinondu, Ibaya and Maji Kununua hills and foothills along the West Usambara and South Pare Mountains in order to confirm Afromontane species in MNP.
Keywords: Herpetofauna, inventory, Somalia-Maasai, biodiversity, conservation