Diversity and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria

Lotanna Micah Nneji, Adeniyi Charles Adeola, Agboola Okeyoyin, Ojo Cornelius Oladipo, Yohanna Saidu, Dinatu Samuel, John Yinamga Usongo, Babatunde Adedeji, Olatunde Omotoso, Akindele Oluwatosin Adeyi, Obih Alex Ugwumba, Adiaha Alda Alex Ugwumba

Abstract


Gashaka Gumti National Park (GGNP), the largest national park in Nigeria, is located within the northernmost extension of Africa’s Gulf of Guinean rain forest. Studies providing information on the diversity and distribution of herpetofauna are vital for understanding local biodiversity and influencing guidelines for conservation. Therefore, the present study was aimed to compile inventory of herpetofauna of GGNP and compare patterns of distribution across habitats. Herpetological collection was carried out between 21 August to 25September 2017, through visual encounter, opportunistic observation and non-lethal pitfall trap array. Literature data and previous herpetological records of GGNP were used to complement the species inventory. A total of 44 species including 18 amphibian and 26 reptile species were documented. Diversity analyses showed that forest and savannah regions of GGNP harbour high diversity and abundance of herpetofauna compared to wetland/swampy areas and agricultural fields. Our study therefore improves knowledge of herpetofauna diversity and distribution of the region. Finally, we offer recommendation for the protection of the associated habitats of herpetofauna.


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