Conservation ecology of amphibians and reptiles in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica : forest fragmentation and long term population change Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Bell, Kristen E.

abstract

  • In order to explore the conservation ecology of frogs and lizards in the Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica, I compared populations and communities among forest fragments and La Selva Biological Station, as well as across 35 years of sampling at La Selva. Species richness in nine fragments combined was 85% of that found in La Selva, and community composition varied among sites and by fragment size class. Although communities in fragments differed fundamentally from those in intact forest, the high diversity observed across all fragments indicates that preserving a network of small forest patches may be of great conservation value to the herpetofauna of this region. According to data from past studies at La Selva, most common species of leaf-litter frogs and lizards demonstrated significant decreases in density over the 35-year period. My findings may represent either natural population fluctuations or sweeping faunal declines at this site.

publication date

  • June 24, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)