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Relevance of zoogeographical transition to conservation of fauna: amphibians and reptiles in the south-western slopes of New South Wales



Relevance of zoogeographical transition to conservation of fauna: amphibians and reptiles in the south-western slopes of New South Wales



Australian Zoologist 21(6-7): 513-529



Frogs and reptiles were surveyed in twelve forests on the southwestern slopes of New South Wales. The location and size of the forests determined their faunal composition. Riverine forests had fewest species of reptiles and frogs. The other forests divided into eastern, central and western zones on the basis of faunal composition, the change on an east-west gradient marking the transition from coastal and montane (Bassian) fauna to inland (Eyrean) fauna. More than 75% of the recorded species reach their geographic limits within the slopes. The transition lies in the centre of the region and the fauna there was depauperate. Western forests were also depauperate, containing only 50% of the Eyrean fauna known to occur in the region and less than 25% of species found 200 km further west. The forests of the region serve principally to maintain the range of species. Most are of sufficient size to conserve the majority of their component herpetofauna, the exceptions being small western forests (c. 300 ha) that are surrounded by agriculture.

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