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Conservation Of Jamaican Amphibians And Reptiles

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Chapter Summary

Jamaicas modern terrestrial herpetofauna includes 66 described species distributed among four amphibian and 10 reptile families. Jamaicas native amphibian fauna consists of 21 described species representing two genera; all of them are endemic and most are considered threatened based on IUCN Red List criteria. Continuing loss and degradation of remaining primary forests is undoubtedly the single greatest threat to the persistence of most threatened species. Sea turtle populations have been reduced to mere remnants due to of over-exploitation; and now the beaches that serve as nesting sites for the remaining populations, and for nesting American crocodiles, are under threat from tourism development. Another major concern is the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungal parasite that has been implicated in the extinction of amphibians worldwide. Halting the rampant cutting of trees in these areas, and effecting a moratorium on coastal development in sea turtle and crocodile nesting habitat are conservation priorities.

Keywords: American crocodiles; amphibians; Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; jamaica; reptiles; sea turtle; tourism development

10.1163/ej.9789004194083.i-439.110
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