Atlas of the distribution of reptiles in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania
This study provides the first atlas of the distribution of reptiles in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Nature Reserve. Unpublished fieldwork observations collected between 2008 and 2011 were combined with published records and museum data in a Geographical Information System to produce maps with the distribution of individual species and species richness. The taxonomic list of reptiles includes 21 species grouped in eight families. Three species (Stenodactylus mauritanicus, Mesalina pasteuri and Psammophis sibilans) were detected for the first time in the area. Reptiles form distinct groups according to their distribution patterns and preliminary habitat selection trends: 1) species selecting bare areas present throughout the park; 2) species selecting rocky habitats present mostly in the northern areas; and 3) species selecting sandy habitats present mostly in the southern areas. A total of eight areas were identified as of high species richness (N > 8 species), usually presenting species typical of rocky or dune habitats and also species present in open bare areas.