Record Details

Dodd, Jr, C Kenneth;Franz, Richard
Species richness and biogeography of the herpetofauna in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, Bahamas
Contributions to West Indian Herpetology. A Tribute to Albert Schwartz
Book Section
Robert Powell and Robert W Henderson
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Ithaca, New York
Cyclura rileyi;Cyclura cychlura
We examined herpetofaunal distribution patterns on 31 islands in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (ECLSP), Bahamas, as a result of four intensive site visits between 1990 and 1993. The herpetofauna consists of 15 species, two (possibly four) of which are introduced. Three basic zoogeographic patterns are shown by the herpetofauna, i.e., species with ubiquitous, core island, or widespread distribution patterns. A single species was found on nearly all islands surveyed, three species were found only on the largest and most structurally complex (=core) islands, and four species were found on a wide variety of small to large sized islands. Three species were so rare that they could not be classified. The remaining two species were probably more widespread at one time, but appear to be much more restricted now. Island size alone explains 42% of the variation in island species richness. The size of the nearest core island and the distance of the nearest core island from its satellite islands did not influence species richness. The distribution of the herpetofauna of the ECLSP probably results from a combination of historical and geological events coupled with ongoing dynamic ecological processes. The potential impact of both exotic predators and human settlement cannot be overlooked when attempting to explain present zoogeographical patterns.