The role of indigenous and community conservation areas in herpetofauna conservation: A preliminary list for Santa Cruz tepetotutla, Oaxaca Mexico

Pablo Rogelio Simón-Salvador, Medardo Arreortúa, Carlos A. Flores, Hermes Santiago-Dionicio, Edna González-Bernal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The montane cloud forests of the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca (SMO) host a remarkable herpetofauna diversity and represent one of the most important areas of endemism for Mexico and Mesoamerica. Although the area has been previously studied, most of the extant records for this group are biased to locations accessed by paved roads. In addition, an important proportion of this territory is conserved by Indigenous and Community Conservation Areas (ICCA), but little information of the species occurring within these areas exists. Therefore, information on the distribution of many endemic taxa in this region to date is either underestimated or incomplete. With the aim of increasing the ecological and distributional knowledge of this group in remote areas, we carried out field surveys in Santa Cruz Tepetotutla Oaxaca, a locality 25 km in a straight line to the closest paved road that conserves 9,670 ha of land through the ICCAs modality. Surveys were made during 2018 and 2019, including both dry and wet seasons. A total of 40 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded: 32.5% of these records represent distributional range extensions, while 20% represent altitudinal range extensions. A total of 17.5% are records of species under a high risk category, highlighting both the relevance of studying remote areas to increase species population knowledge and the role of community conservation actions for species persistence. Finally, our records include the rediscovery of Rhadinella schistosa, a species undetected for more than 50 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-208
Number of pages24
JournalZooKeys
Volume2021
Issue number1029
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Endemic
  • ICCAs
  • Montane cloud forest
  • Rediscovery
  • Reptiles

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