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Conservation Of The Herpetofauna On The Dutch Windward Islands: St. Eustatius, Saba, And St. Maarten

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Chapter Summary

The Dutch Windward Islands support a collective herpetofauna consisting of two frogs, six turtles, 15 or 16 lizards, and three snakes. Although politically united, the islands are distinct biogeographic entities and binary similarity indices for the herpetofauna are 0.38 for St. Eustatius/Saba, 0.35 for St. Eustatius/St. Maarten, and 0.20 for Saba/St. Maarten. Only three species, Eleutherodactylus johnstonei, Hemidactylus mabouia, and Thecadactylus rapicauda, are found on all three islands. Species given formal recognition as being in need of protection include the sea turtles, Geochelone carbonaria, Iguana delicatissima, Iguana iguana, and two species of Alsophis. Three factors largely responsible for the status of these species are: (1) large size and economic value, (2) persecution by people who fear them, and (3) diurnally active, terrestrial, and vulnerable to predation by mongooses. Non-governmental organizations on each island are largely responsible for conservation and related educational efforts. Specific recommendations for each island are listed.

Keywords: Dutch Windward; herpetofauna; Saba; St. Eustatius; St. Maarten



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