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The terrestrial herpetofauna of Martinique: Past, present, future

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I present an up-to-date annotated list of the herpetofauna of Martinique, and try to explain the causes responsible for the eradication of species such as Leptodactylus fallax, Boa sp. and Leiocephalus herminieri. Mabuya mabouya and Liophis cursor have not been seen for decades and may have been extirpated. It cannot be established that the mongoose was responsible; Didelphis marsupialis, of recent introduction, may have played an important role. Introduced and invasive species are numerous in Martinique: Chaunus marinus, Scinax ruber, Eleutherodactylus johnstonei, Gymnophthalmus underwoodi, Iguana iguana, Gekko gecko, Hemidactylus mabouia, without considering escaped pets and the dubious case of Allobates chalcopis as an endemic species. I also present the restoration plan for Iguana delicatissima in the French West Indies and the conservation work for this species in Martinique; increase of nesting areas, translocation, creation of numerous protected areas, and control of I. iguana. Of a total of 13 endemic and indigenous species from Martinique, three are definitely and a further two are probably eradicated. Including Guadeloupe, the French West Indies have the highest loss of herpetological biodiversity among all the islands in the West Indies.

Affiliations: 1: Département Systématique et Évolution, Taxonomie et Collections, UMS 602, Amphibiens-Reptiles, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 25 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France


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