Title

Amphibians and reptiles of Cebu, Philippines: The poorly understood herpetofauna of an island with very little remaining natural habitat

College

College of Science

Department/Unit

Biology

Document Type

Article

Source Title

Asian Herpetological Research

Volume

7

Issue

3

First Page

151

Last Page

179

Publication Date

1-1-2016

Abstract

Despite its proximity to other well studied islands, Cebu has received little attention from herpetologists, most likely because of early deforestation and the perception very little natural habitat remains for amphibians and reptiles. In this study, we present a preliminary assessment of island’s herpetofauna, focusing our field work on Cebu’s last remaining forest fragments and synthesizing all available historical museum distribution data. We surveyed amphibians and reptile populations using standardized methods to allow for comparisons between sites and assess sufficiency of sampling effort. Fieldwork resulted in a total of 27 species recorded from five study sites, complementing the 58 species previously known from the island. Together, our data and historical museum records increase the known number of Cebu’s resident species to 13 amphibians (frogs) and 63 reptiles (lizards, snakes, turtle, crocodile). We recorded the continued persistence Cebu’s rare and endemic lizard (Brachymeles cebuensis) and secretive snakes such as Malayotyphlops hypogius, and Ramphotyhlops cumingii, which persist despite Cebu’s long history of widespread and continuous habitat degradation. Most species encountered, including common and widespread taxa, appeared to persist at low population abundances. To facilitate the immediate recovery of the remaining forest fragments, and resident herpetofauna, conservation effort must be sustained. However, prior to any conservation interventions, ecological baselines must be established to inform the process of recovery. © 2016, Asiatic Herpetological Research Society. All rights reserved.

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Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)

10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.150049

Disciplines

Biology

Keywords

Amphibians--Philippines--Cebu Island; Reptiles--Philippines-- Cebu Island; DeforestationPhilippines--Cebu Island; Forests and forestry—Philippines--Cebu Island

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