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Conservation Of Herpetofauna In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago

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Chapter Summary

Trinidad and Tobago present three main contrasts to other Caribbean islands in terms of herpetological conservation. (1) They are continental shelf rather than oceanic islands and have a diverse Neotropical fauna and a low level of endemism. (2) They were developed relatively late in the European colonial period, and the delayed population and agricultural growth has left relatively large areas of original habitat. (3) Industrial development is the major feature of current economic growth in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad is more divergent from the typical Caribbean island than Tobago in all these respects. The herpetofauna is incompletely known, but about 112 terrestrial and freshwater species and five sea turtles have been recorded. The endemic Critically Endangered (IUCN) golden tree frog Phytotriades auratus will probably receive protection as an Environmentally Sensitive Species in the near future; this status was recently rejected for the sea turtles.

Keywords: Caribbean islands; herpetofauna; sea turtles; Tobago; Trinidad



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