Changes in amphibian and reptile diversity over time in Parque Estadual do Utinga, a protected area surrounded by urbanization

Teresa C.S. Avila-Pires, Kleiton R. Alves-Silva, Laís Barbosa, Fabrício S. Correa, Jorge F. A. Cosenza, Ana Paula V. Costa-Rodrigues, Aurea A. Cronemberger, Marinus S. Hoogmoed, Geraldo R. Lima-Filho, Adriano O. Maciel, Alexandre F. R. Missassi, Lywouty R. S. Nascimento, André L. S. Nunes, Luciana S. Oliveira, Giovanni S. Palheta, Augusto J. S. Pereira Jr., Laís Pinheiro, Maria Cristina Santos-Costa, Sílvia R. C. Pinho, Fernanda M. Silva, Marcélia B. Silva, Marcelo J. Sturaro

Abstract


In highly degraded areas, urban parks may have an important role in maintaining biodiversity. The Parque Estadual do Utinga, in the municipalities of Belém and Ananindeua, Pará, Brazil, is in large part surrounded by human habitations, but it is connected to other forest fragments. We recently conducted surveys of the herpetofauna in this park and compared records from 1990 to the present with data from before 1985, in order to detect possible local extinctions due to the increase of urban and degraded areas. In total, 49 species of amphibians (45 frogs, one salamander, three caecilians) and 86 species of reptiles (27 lizards, four amphisbaenas, 49 snakes, one caiman, five turtles) were recorded in the park. Comparing the two periods, 16% of the amphibians and 11% of the lizards have not been found since 1990. We discuss the possibilities of local extinction versus sampling deficiency or other causes for the observed absences.

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