Short term monitoring reveals the rapid decline of southern Madagascar's Critically Endangered tortoise species
Southern Madagascar supports two of the world's most threatened chelonians, Pyxis arachnoides and Astrochelys radiata, both thought to be rapidly declining as a result of habitat loss and poaching; however, to date quantitative data on this decline is lacking. We applied a conventional distance sampling procedure, monitoring populations twice over a 24-month period across the species' respective distributions. Population density for P. arachnoides dropped from 2.4 tortoises/ha (95% CI; 1.6–3.4) to 1.5/ha (95% CI; 0.8–2.8). Astrochelys radiata dropped from 2.1 tortoises/ha (95% CI 1.2–3.5) to 1.5/h. (95% CI 0.7–3.3). Local community-based conservation initiatives need to be expanded to combat this decline.
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Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: July 1, 2014
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- The Herpetological Journal is an international scientific journal that publishes papers on the natural history of amphibians and reptiles. Experimental, observational and theoretical studies are published along with reviews and book reviews. Faunistic lists, letters and results of general surveys are not published unless they shed light on herpetological problems of wider significance.
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