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Amphibians and reptiles from Oaxaca: List, distribution, and conservation


, : Amphibians and reptiles from Oaxaca: List, distribution, and conservation. Acta Zoologica Mexicana Nueva Serie 0(69): 1-35

The Oaxacan herpetofauna is composed by 40 families, 127 genera and 359 species (33% amphibians and 67% reptiles). This fauna comprises the 35.7% of the Mexican herpetofauna. This is one of the richest faunas of Mesoamerica, only exceeded by that of Costa Rica. Oaxaca was divided by other authors, into 10 fisiographic-floristic Regions. Amphibians and reptiles were analyzed following these subdivisions. It was found that the herpetofaunas fit within that pattern, because the similarity coefficients between regions are very low, so 10 herpetofaunistic regions are also recognized. The most diverse regions are the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, with 43 species of amphibians and 60 of reptiles, the Istmo de Tehuantepec, having 27 species of amphibians and 106 of reptiles and the Sierra Madre del Sur, with 24 species of amphibians and 49 of reptiles. The Planicie Costera del Pacifico also contains an important number of species. Regions as the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Valley, Balsas Depression and the Central Valleys have been poorly studied and our results on these regions are preliminary. Elevationally, the most diversified herpetofauna is found between the sea level and 1000 m. Endemism among amphibians and reptiles of the State is remarkable, because it is higher than in any other region of Mexico, comprising 93 species (26% of the Oaxaca's herpetofauna), including 44 amphibians and 47 reptiles. The herpetofaunistic regions with the higher number of endemic species are: the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca 129 amphibians and 46 reptiles), the Sierra Madre del Sur (1 3 amphibians and 7 reptiles) and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that is also an important region of endemism (9 reptilian species, and sharing several other species with Planicie Costera del Pacifico and Sierra Atravesada). The altitudinal zone of highest endemism in Oaxaca is between 1200 and 2600 m. The greatest number of salamanders and snakes endemics, occurs between 1200 and 3000 m and between 1200 and 2200 for frogs and lizards. There are many protected areas in Oaxaca, and many others disturbed, nevertheless, it is imperative to minimally effectively areas in the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Sierra Madre del Sur, especially at elevations between sea level and 1000 m for diversity and between 1200 and 2600 m for endemism.

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