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A herpetological assessment of the littoral forests of Sainte Luce (southeastern Madagascar): Using genetic tools to ascertain the true identities of the area's amphibians and reptiles

Hyde Roberts, S., Sannolo, M., Longosoa, H., Crottini, A., Clark, R., Andreone, F. and Rosa, G. M..

Sainte Luce represents one of the last examples of intact southern littoral forest in Madagascar, an island renowned for its incredible species richness and biodiversity. Madagascar is currently home to 313 described species of amphibian and 439 described species of reptiles. Although these figures are impressive, it must be also recognised that these figures do not constitute final richness counts, with both groups known to contain a large number of undescribed ‘candidate’ species. Total estimates for the number of amphibians present on the island is often cited as being nearer to 500 species, with similar estimates offered for the reptiles. The astonishing herpetological diversity seen on Madagascar is given further significance when levels of endemism are considered; with 99% of amphibians being found nowhere else on Earth and likewise over 97% endemicity is observable in the Squamata.

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