Vol 7 Num 1

Biogeography and Conservation of the Herpetofauna of the Upland Pine-Oak Forests of Honduras

Larry David Wilson

Miami-Dade College
Department of Biology, Kendall Campus, Miami-Dade College, Miami, Florida 33176-3393, USA
email: lwilson@mdc.edu

Josiah H. Townsend

University of Florida
School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida, and Division of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800, USA
email: jtownsend@flmnh.ufl.edu

Amphibians and reptiles, distributional patterns, biodiversity significance, conservation status

publication date: 01-20-2007

The upland pine-oak forest herpetofauna constitutes the smallest segment distributed in the major habitat types in Honduras, due to its occurrence at moderate elevations in relatively inhospitable environments, compared to more mesic habitats in the country. This segment, however, is subject to considerable environmental threat as a consequence of annual burning and logging. Of the 356 herpetofaunal species known from Honduras, 105 are known from these habitats. These forests occur throughout much of the mountainous interior of Honduras. They are subject to the Intermediate Dry climate. Four salamanders, 27 anurans, four turtles, 29 lizards, and 41 snakes comprise the herpetofauna. These species are partitioned into restricted, widespread, and peripheral distributional categories. They can be allocated to eleven broad distributional categories, with most belonging to the category containing species whose ranges extend from somewhere in Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to somewhere in South America. The large majority are terrestrial forest inhabitants, arboreal forest inhabitants, terrestrial pondside species, or terrestrial forest pondside species. Most species are judged common, with the next largest group considered to be of infrequent occurrence, and the smallest group of rare occurrence. Upland pine-oak forest species are distributed among four ecophysiographic areas, with the greatest number of species being found in the Southeastern Uplands. Construction of a CBR diagram illustrates that the herpetofaunas of the Northwestern and Northeastern Uplands, the Northeastern Uplands and Southeastern Uplands, and the Southeastern Uplands and Southwestern Uplands are about equally related to one another. The greatest significance of the upland pine-oak forest herpetofauna lies in the relatively high percentage of members presently possessing stable populations, indicating their apparent greater ability to resist anthropogenic habitat disturbance. Few species currently have populations in decline, but about a third lack sufficient data to characterize their population status, indicating the need for considerable additional fieldwork before their conservation issues can be properly addressed.

how to quote this paper
Wilson, L.D. and Townsend, J.H. Biogeography and Conservation of the Herpetofauna of the Upland Pine-Oak Forests of Honduras. Biota Neotrop. Jan/Apr 2007 vol. 7, no. 1 https://www.biotaneotropica.org.br/v7n1/en/abstract?inventory+bn02307012007 ISSN 1676-0603.

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Fapesp
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq