Record Details

Charruau, Pierre;Cedeño-Vázquez, José Rogelio;Köhler, Gunther
Amphibians and Reptiles
Biodiversity and Conservation of the Yucatán Peninsula
Book Section
G A Islebe, S Calmé, J L León-Cortés and B Schmook
Chapter 11
Springer International Publishing
Cham, Switzerland
Iguana iguana;Ctenosaura similis;Ctenosaura defensor;Ctenosaura alfredschmidti
The three Mexican states of the Yucatan Peninsula have been relatively well explored for herpetofauna, when compared with other states of the country. However, most studies on the herpetofauna of the Yucatan Peninsula have focused on their diversity, taxonomy, and species distribution, and less on their ecology, behavior or conservation status. The major conservation efforts have focused on sea turtles. Although some conservation programs exist locally for crocodiles in the north of the peninsula, to date conservation strategies have mostly been restricted to the designation of protected areas. With 24 species of amphibians and 118 species of reptiles, the Yucatan Peninsula harbors 11.5 % of national herpetofauna diversity, and 19 % of species are endemic to the peninsula. Reptiles and amphibians are two major globally threatened groups of vertebrates, with amphibians being the most threatened vertebrate class. Both groups face the same threats, namely habitat loss and modification, pollution, overharvest for food and pet trade, introduction of exotic species, infectious diseases, and climatic change. Unfortunately, almost none of these issues have been investigated for key populations in the Yucatan Peninsula. For amphibians, studies exploring the presence of the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and the effects of climatic change are badly needed to understand the specific factors that negatively affect populations in this area. In general, conservation efforts for reptiles and amphibians in the Yucatan Peninsula need to include environmental education, scientific investigation, and law enforcement and application.