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Reptile diversity of a fragmented lowland rain forest patch in Kukulugala, Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka

Authors:

DMS Suranjan Karunarathna ,

Nature Exploration & Education Team, Morauwa, LK
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AA Thasun Amarasinghe

Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society, LK
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Abstract

A four month survey was undertaken to document the diversity and abundance of reptiles in the Kukulugala forest (KF) in the Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. A total of 708 individuals belonging to 41 genera (~50%) and 13 families (~55%) were recorded. KF had high species diversity with 58 species, representing about ~28% of the total diversity of known reptiles of Sri Lanka. Of the recorded species, 11 (~19%) were threatened and 24 (~44%) are endemic to Sri Lanka. Endemic relict genera including Aspidura, Balanophis, Cercaspis, Lyriocephalus, Ceratophora, Lankascincus and Nessia were also recorded during the survey. Availability of varied microhabitats may be responsible for the observed high species diversity. Anthropogenic activities, particularly illegal logging and man-made forest fires, is threatening these habitats leading to reduction in reptile population and diversity.

Keywords: Conservation; endemic; reptiles; threatened; wet-zone; Ratnapura; Sri Lanka

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/tapro.v2i2.3146

TAPROBANICA, October, 2010. Vol. 02, No. 02: pp. 86-94

How to Cite: Karunarathna, D.S. & Amarasinghe, A.T., (2011). Reptile diversity of a fragmented lowland rain forest patch in Kukulugala, Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka. TAPROBANICA: The Journal of Asian Biodiversity. 2(2), pp.86–94. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tapro.v2i2.3146
Published on 23 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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