Friday, February 8, 2013

The Herpetofauna of Luzon Island

A study of the amphibians and reptiles of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, northeastern Luzon, Philippines reveals a preliminary number of some 100 species amphibian and reptilian speciesin the region. That brings up the total number of Luzon region's herpetological fauna to more than 150 species. Out of these, a total of 49 amphibian species have been documented, 44 of which are native and a remarkable 32 endemic. Luzon is home to 106 native reptilian species, 76 of which are unique to this region.

One of the conclusions of the comprehensive work is that is region should be considered a biodiversity in the region representing approximately 35% percent of the total Philippine herpetofauna.

Platymantis polillensis (credit Rafe M. Brown)
Such a baseline opens a variety of opportunities for future studies in taxonomy, biogeography, ecology and conservation of northern Luzon's amphibians and reptiles. The paper provides a catalog of the regional biodiversity with over 100 images and a huge amount of life history and geographical data. It would be wonderful to add DNA Barcodes of these unique faunal samples to the library. Conservation of Luzon's vertebrate biodiversity remains an on-going effort, challenged by rapid development,logging, mining and conversion of natural habitats into agricultural lands.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing and heart warming to hear news like this, proving our country as a megadiversity country. Hopefull, more international recognition be given as most are bias in just featuring their own biodiversity. Often underestimating the richeness of all fauna groups in the Philippines.