The Northern Areas of Pakistan are at the boundary between the Paleartic and the Oriental biogeographical realm. This mountainous region is at the junction between major mountain ranges, has huge altitudinal and environmental gradients, and is the focus of efforts for biodiversity conservation. However, the amphibians and reptiles of this area remain poorly known. We used multiple approaches to describe species distribution and ecology, to perform a preliminary analysis of genetic diversity of toads, and to assess the occurrence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a pathogen largely responsible of global amphibian decline. We observed seven species of amphibians and reptiles: Bufo pseudoraddei baturae, Bufo latastii, Scutiger cf. nyingchiensis, Altiphylax stoliczkai, Laudakia himalayana, L. pakistanica and Varanus bengalensis; we describe the habitat and distribution of these species. In the case of L. himalayana, we observed a bimodal pattern of diurnal activity, and we report new data on the altitudinal range of this agamid. Sequences of a fragment of mitochondrial 16S rDNA from multiple populations of B. pseudraddei baturae show low genetic diversity among individual of this species. Conversely, we observed strong genetic substructuring among populations of B. latastii living in different valleys. A PCR-based analysis did not reveal the presence of B. dendrobatidis in any of the amphibians investigated. Distribution data show that amphibians and reptiles are limited to relatively low elevations; these areas suffer the strongest human impact, and might be overlooked by future conservation plans for the area, making the future of these organisms at risk.
New data on amphibians and reptiles of the Northern Areas of Pakistan : distribution, genetic variability and conservation issues / G.F. Ficetola, A. Crottini, M. Casiraghi, E. Padoa-Schioppa. - In: NORTH-WESTERN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY. - ISSN 1584-9074. - 6:1(2010), pp. 061101.1-061101.12.
|Titolo:||New data on amphibians and reptiles of the Northern Areas of Pakistan : distribution, genetic variability and conservation issues|
FICETOLA, GENTILE FRANCESCO (Corresponding)
CROTTINI, ANGELICA (Secondo)
CASIRAGHI, MAURIZIO (Penultimo)
PADOA SCHIOPPA, EMILIO (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||Agamidae; Altitude; Amphibian conservation; Asia; Biodiversity; Chytridiomycosis; DNA barcoding; Himalaya; Karakoram; Animal Science and Zoology|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|