Record Details

Ackley, Jeffrey W;Muelleman, Peter J;Carter, Ruth E;Henderson, Robert W;Powell, Robert
A rapid assessment of herpetofaunal diversity in variously altered habitats on Dominica
Applied Herpetology
Journal Article
Iguana delicatissima
In June 2008, we conducted a survey of Dominican herpetofaunal communities in habitats variously disturbed by human activity. Our rapid assessment found the highest abundance and species richness in moderately to substantially modified areas. We found relatively few species and low numbers of individuals in relatively natural high-elevation sites, dramatically altered urban areas, and active agricultural fields. In habitats subjected to intermediate levels of disturbance, such as a residential area and an inactive agricultural site invaded by dense exotic vegetation, complex physical habitat structure appeared to support the greatest herpetofaunal diversity. These results suggest that conservation efforts in the West Indies need not be restricted to pristine habitats, but also might include protection of slightly to moderately disturbed areas that may sustain greater biodiversity.