Authors

Pleguezuelos JM, Brito JC , Fahd S, Feriche M, Mateo JA, Moreno-Rueda G, Reques R, Santos X

Abstract

We assess the national conservation status of the amphibians and reptiles of Morocco by applying the IUCN Red List Criteria at the national level and assess its utility as a planning tool to establish regional priorities for conservation. We rely on the accessory data accompanying regional red lists, mainly distribution range and habitats used by, and threats affecting, species of conservation concern. We also correlated some natural history traits to examine the nature and causes of the risk of extinction. With 13 species of amphibians (31% regionally threatened) and 99 species of reptiles (14% regionally threatened), Morocco is one of the Mediterranean countries with the highest diversity of herpetofauna, mainly because of the high percentage of endemism (amphibians 31%, reptiles 24%). The relative frequencies of threatened species were found to be contingent on both taxonomic group and habitat. The overwhelming importance of the threats of small range and number of habitats used by species is different from the threats to the same species at the global level; this demonstrates the usefulness of national or regional analyses of conservation status for setting conservation priorities. The importance of regional assessment derives from the fact that the boundaries set for conservation management are mainly political rather than biogeographical.

 

Journal: Oryx

DOI: 10.1017/S0030605310000992