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Status, Conservation, And Introduction Of Amphibians And Reptiles In The Turks And Caicos Islands, British West Indies

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Chapter Summary

The Turks and Caicos Islands, located at the southern terminus of the Bahamian Archipelago, contain a unique native reptile assemblage consisting of 13 species, nine of which are endemic species. In addition to the native reptiles, at least 10 herpetofaunal species are introduced in the islands, including two amphibians. The native fauna of the region face a plenitude of threats, including feral predators such as cats, loss of habitat due to development, unsustainable exploitation, habitat degradation by semi-feral herbivores, and malicious killing. Sea turtles continue to be exploited for meat and their shells, and nesting activity is declining. The endemic iguana, Cyclura carinata, has been extirpated from major islands in the archipelago and survives on isolated islands that lack introduced vertebrate predators. Though iguanas have received a great deal of attention from conservationists, local government, and citizens, little is known about the biology or conservation concerns of other unique species.

Keywords: Cyclura carinata; amphibians; Caicos islands; conservasionists; reptiles; Turks islands



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