Herpetofaunal communities at Muni Lagoon in Ghana
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 9, Number 4, April 2000 , pp. 501-510(10)
Abstract:A herpetofaunal survey of Muni-Pomadze Lagoon, during the main rainy season (May–June), recorded a total of 32 species (13 amphibians and 19 reptiles). Three species are the first records for coastal habitats in Ghana: Kinixys homeana, Calabaria reinhardti, and Bothrophthalmus lineatus. None of the surveyed species are restricted to Ghana. The most diverse herpetofaunal community occurs in grassland thicket, with 26 species (81% of the sampled herpetofauna). Freshwater ponds include 12 species, while only three species (all amphibians) occur in brackish lagoons. Herpetofaunal conservation efforts at these sites should focus on protecting and monitoring grassland coastal thicket and freshwater ponds. Currently, freshwater pond habitats appear to be stable, but coastal thicket is being lost to provide new agricultural land at Muni. Hyperolius reedfrogs, pythons (Python regius) and monitor lizards (Varanus exanthematicus and V. niloticus) appear to offer the greatest potential for undertaking long-term monitoring of the coastal lagoon herpetofauna, because they can be more readily surveyed, and are likely to be sensitive to a broad range of environmental stressors.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Division of Herpetology, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA 2: Zoology Department, University of Ghana, P.O. Box 67, Legon, Ghana
Publication date: April 2000