n African Journal of Herpetology - Conservation status of herpetofauna endemic to Kwazulu-Natal : original article

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
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The KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service is undertaking a long-term project to determine the value of untransformed land for biodiversity conservation, to map these areas in accordance with their relative values, and to identify and prioritise irreplaceable areas. Existing distribution data for amphibian and reptile species and subspecies that are considered endemic to KwaZulu-Natal were collated, refined, entered into a database, checked and verified before being used for modelling purposes. The potential distributions of the species were modelled at a scale of four hectares using distribution data of spatial resolution of ≤ 250 m. Six of the 14 endemic amphibian and reptilian species and subspecies meet the two conservation goals of: (1) at least 10 % of their present distributions under formal conservation management, and; (2) three such protected areas with viable populations. A benefit of modelling the potential distributions of endemics is that searching for populations of these amphibians and reptiles can be directed to areas where they are expected to occur. The data collected can then be used to improve the distribution models for these endemics, some of which are poorly known. The species distributions and their associated conservation targets form a vital component of the long-term, iterative, systematic conservation planning project currently underway in the province.

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