Herpetofauna from an Atlantic Forest fragment in São Paulo, Brazil

Habitat loss via urbanization is a cause of decline for reptile and amphibian species around the world. The Atlantic Forest is the second largest rainforest of South America and holds one of the most extraordinary herpetofauna in the world, even after decades of fragmentation. The Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga (PEFI) is one of the most important remnants of Atlantic Forest inside the city of São Paulo (Brazil), but its herpetofauna richness has not been studied. Between 2011 and 2014, we carried out a herpetofaunal inventory in the PEFI and made notes on habitat use by using pitfall traps with drift fences combined with acoustic and visual encounter surveys. We also collected data from opportunistic encounters and historical information from scientific collections. We found that the PEFI harbors 22 native species of anurans, 24 native species of reptiles, and three exotic species of reptiles. Also, through surveying scientific collections, we found three species of amphibians and one of the snakes that were detected in the past but were not detected during our survey. The composition of amphibian species in the PEFI is similar to proximal small urban and periurban Atlantic Forest fragments, but its species richness is higher than these fragments even when compared to areas with similar or larger size. In conclusion, the highly urban PEFI supports considerable herpetofaunal diversity in comparison with other regional areas and our data reinforce the necessity of conserving this and other urban forest fragments through strategic management across the Atlantic Forest.
Lisboa CS., Vaz RI., Malagoli LR., Barbo FE, Venturin RC., Brasileiro CA.. Herpetofauna from an Atlantic Forest fragment in São Paulo, Brazil. Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 2021 Aug;16(2):436–451
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