Monday, February 20, 2012

[Herpetology • 2011] A reptile survey in a dry deciduous forest fragment in northern Madagascar showing new records for the little-known snake Pararhadinaea melanogaster and a range extension for the skink Amphiglossus tanysoma


Figure 3.  Photographic  documentation  of  some  of  the  species  encountered  during  this  study; A. Sanzinia madagascariensis volontany; B. Furcifer pardalis; C. Uroplatus sp. aff. henkeli; D. Phisalixella variabilis.

Abstract
 A small area within a fragment of unprotected secondary dry deciduous forest named Antsolipa, located between the protected areas of Montagne d’Ambre National Park and Ankarana Special Reserve in northern Madagascar, was surveyed for its reptile fauna over a ten-week period between July and September 2009, during the dry season. A combination of active searching, opportunistic collection as well as pitfall and funnel trapping yielded a total of 19 reptile species including 2 listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and 7 species on the CITES appendices. As this forest was previously unstudied, this survey provides the first inventory of reptile species for the area, also providing a new locality record for a little known species of colubrid snake, Pararhadinaea melanogaster, of which only six specimens were previously known from a few locations in Northern Madagascar. It is also the first locality where multiple specimens of this species have been observed. The discovery of a skink thought to be Amphiglossus tanysoma is also important, as this would be a northern range extension for this species. The fragmented forests in this area are under increasing threat from logging and clearing, and as few studies have been carried out in these unprotected areas their conservational importance remains poorly known. It is hoped that the results of this survey may help to highlight the rich species diversity contained within these forests, and hopefully lead to some form of official protection of what little remains of these potentially important habitats.
Keywords. Conservation, Threatened, IUCN, CITES, Colubrid, Lizard, Scincidae.


Figure 1.  Location  of  the  study  site  (12°46.13’  S,  49°09.38’ E) situated near the village of Tsarikabany between Montagne d’Ambre National Park and Ankarana Special Reserve.

Labanowski, R.J. and Lowin, A.J. 2011. A reptile survey in a dry deciduous forest fragment in northern Madagascar showing new records for the little-known snake Pararhadinaea melanogaster and a range extension for the skink Amphiglossus tanysoma. Herpetology Notes 4: 113-121.

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