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Conservation Of Amphibians And Reptiles In The Bahamas

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Chapter Summary

The native herpetofauna of The Bahamas is derived primarily from Cuba and Hispaniola, and numbers 46 species comprised of three frogs, 25 lizards, 11 snakes, two freshwater turtles, and five sea turtles. Currently, there are few legislative laws directly protecting the herpetofauna of The Bahamas although all three rock iguanas (Cyclura) are technically given full protection under the Wild Animals (Protection) Act of 1968. In 2009, the Bahamian Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources amended the Fisheries Regulations governing marine turtles in order to give full protection to all sea turtles found in its waters. Major threats to the Bahamian herpetofauna include inappropriate development, apathy, over-exploitation of wildlife, lack of law enforcement, hurricanes, introduced species, and disturbance by tourist activities. This chapter explores the challenges for long-term conservation of the Bahamian herpetofauna and provides suggestions to help mitigate pressures on amphibian and reptile populations.

Keywords: Bahamas; Cyclura; herpetofauna



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