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Diversity, Threats and Conservation of Herpetofauna in and around the Eastern Sinharaja

Authors:

Thinlina D Surasinghe ,

Dept of Biological Sciences Rajarata University, Mihintale, LK
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Ravindra L Jayaratne

Dept of Biological Sciences Rajarata University, Mihintale, LK
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Abstract

The Eastern Sinharaja is a moist montane tropical forest that falls within the Rakwana mountain range and is 30km2 in area. Eastern Sinharaja is the home for many threatened endemic herpetofauna where seven species of anuran amphibians three agamids, one species of gecko are known to be spot endemics where all of them are considered to be critically endangered. The eastern Sinharaja is confronting different degrees of threats due to human disturbances including deforestation and habitat destruction due to cardamom and tea cultivation, the land degradation as a result of Illegal gem mining, extraction of forest resources, illicit timber felling, collection of non-woody products, wild cardamom, medicinal plants and firewood, setting fire to the forest and grasslands and the excessive usage of pesticides in plantations. The relative abundances of the above mentioned endemic herpetofauna is significantly low. Therefore it is assumed that the population size of these species is extremely low. Having a small land area, where the primary forest vegetation is rapidly declining, the herpetofaual populations are facing an imminent threat. Therefore, immediate conservation actions are recommended. Specific attention must be paid over restoration of regarded areas with native fast growing forest species and establishment of habitat corridors to bridge the neighboring forest patches to yield space and resources to sustain the minimum viable populations. Establishment of a buffer is imperative to mediate the human impacts. The landowners must be encouraged to adopt agro-forestry practices instead of monocultures like tea/cardamom plantation, allowing establishment of small populations of herpatofauna in those agroforestry plots adjoining the reserve.

DOI: 10.4038/suslj.v6i1.1685

Sabaragamuwa University Journal, vol 6, no. 1, pp 3-12

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v6i1.1685
How to Cite: Surasinghe, T.D. & Jayaratne, R.L., (2010). Diversity, Threats and Conservation of Herpetofauna in and around the Eastern Sinharaja. Sabaragamuwa University Journal. 6(1), pp.3–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/suslj.v6i1.1685
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Published on 29 Mar 2010.
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