Atlas of the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the Diawling National Park, Mauritania
Keywords:Africa, Biodiversity, GIS, Protected Area, Wetlands
This study provides the first atlas of the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the Diawling National Park (DNP), Mauritania. Unpublished fieldwork observations collected between 2010 and 2017 were combined with published records and museum data in a geographical information system to produce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 includes 32 species, six amphibians and 26 reptiles, grouped in 17 families. Ten species are new records for the area. Species form distinct groups according to their distribution patterns and preliminary habitat selection trends: 1) species distributed in inland dunes, some extending their range to coastal dunes; 2) species distributed in inland dunes and floodplains; and 3) species associated with habitats that are permanently or seasonally flooded or that inhabit riparian forests. Three areas accumulating most of the species found are located in sand habitats of DNP and peripheral zones. Specific counts of Crocodylus suchus suggest strong seasonal fluctuations in population size inside DNP, which are likely a consequence of the human-mediated dynamics of water availability in the area
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