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Amphibians And Reptiles Of The French West Indies: Inventory, Threats And Conservation

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Chapter Summary

At least five marine turtles and 49 terrestrial or freshwater amphibians and reptiles have been listed from the French West Indies since the beginning of human settlement. Among terrestrial or freshwater species, two groups may be distinguished. Except for marine turtles and some terrestrial species for which the decline was due to human predation, the extinctions primarily involved ground living reptiles of average size and round section body shape. Habitat degradation and mammalian predator introductions have probably contributed to the extinction of these species, in addition to a possible direct impact of man. The scope of this chapter is to make an inventory of the extinct, vanished or currently present species of the French West Indies herpetofauna. It also points out current threats to native species, and proposes steps to identify and quantify mechanisms that endanger native populations, in order to work out relevant conservation or restoration strategies.

Keywords: French West Indies; herpetofauna



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