Reptile diversity and community composition in the Puyango dry forest [post]

Acosta Vásconez Ana, Cisneros-Heredia Diego
2016 unpublished
Reptiles are key animals in vertebrate communities in most ecosystems. However, there is little information on their diversity and abundance in dry forests of Ecuador. Between 2013 and 2014 we studied the reptile diversity and natural history of the Puyango Protected Forest, on the border between the province of Loja and El Oro, Ecuador. This area protects relicts of dry deciduous forest in hills and patches of semi-deciduous forest around ravines. We used belt transects in three different
more » ... hree different streams and irregular band transects in trails, together with pitfall traps, funnel traps, and litter quadrants. The richness of the Puyango Protected Forest represents a small percentage of the Ecuadorian reptile diversity, but covers much of the representative phylogenetic groups of tropical dry forests of the world. Sampling was effective to determine saurian diversity, but more sampling is needed to estimate snake diversity. Evidence of the presence of 21 species, divided into 10 families, was obtained; of which 14 are snakes (including a potential new species of the genus Epictia) and seven are lizards. Natural history is described for each species, including time and space use, and their conservation status is analyzed. The reptile community is characterized by a relative homogeneity over the vegetation remnants and the highest abundances correspond to saurian species.
doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.2625v1 fatcat:4ox3qdnt6nhqxkvilqdpiezaom