Species composition and abundance estimates of reptiles in selected agroecosystems in southern Western Ghats, India

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Abhirami Mini Jayakumar
Paingamadathil Ommer Nameer


Species composition and abundance of reptiles in selected agroecosystems in Thrissur plains, near Palghat Gap, southern Western Ghats in India, was studied from January 2017 to May 2017.  The agroecosystems surveyed were coconut, cashew & rubber plantations, home garden, paddy field, and botanical garden.  Time-constrained visual encounter surveys of a total effort of 360 man-hours were done in the field.  Coconut and cashew plantations reported the highest species richness with 11 species each, while the highest number of sightings (159) were recorded from botanical garden.  Bronze Grass Skink Eutropis macularia was the most abundant species in agroecosystems.  Correspondence analysis was done to compare the reptilian diversity in the agroecosystems.  The reptile fauna of home garden and paddy field were found to be more distinct than the rest of the agroecosystems.  A total of 17 species of reptiles were recorded during the study, thus highlighting the significance of agroecosystems in acting as important buffer landscapes for reptiles. 

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