Review of Field Protocols on Herpetological Investigations: A Working Guide for Junior Herpetologists in Ethiopia

Mulualem G       

Abstract

In light of the global herpetofauna declines there is a pressing need for baseline surveys in formerly unstudied sites in order to assess geographical distributions and population densities. Population trends of herpetofauna cannot be assessed if these surveys are not conducted. Herpetological surveys provide evidence on the distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of species and environmental variables that control diversity. This data will help for effective conservation planning and management of herptofauna in a period of specious global decline. Herpetological surveys can be time-consuming and costly, and a number of issues must be addressed to maximize the reliability of the resulting data. Owing this, there are several field techniques to capture herpetofauna in their wild ecosystem. Some of the techniques include visual encounter surveys, auditory survey, presence/absence surveys, population count, population densities, nocturnal searches and mackinnon’s list method. Hence, there is a concern for herpetological surveys in many parts of the tropics where little research has been done and the potential for new species is high. Besides, Ethiopia has vast assortment of biodiversity and is an area of the tropics where few herpetofauna surveys have been done and little is known about the general ecology of the species. This is due to limited knowledge and skill of field protocols on herpetological investigations. Data collected in poorly designed surveys can be unsuitable for statistical analysis, and may sometimes present a misleading picture on the distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of herpetofauna. Thus, this review was intended to examine issues of survey protocols, sampling procedures, technical consideration, survey standards, and methods of handling and provides recommendations for planning herpetological survey. Primarily, the projected site and the aims of the survey should be identified. Likewise, the proposed sampling techniques should be assessed using relevant literature or a pilot study. Generally, herpetological field works should follow standard survey protocols to fill the existing gap in herpetology.


MS Received Date:   2016-02-19  MS Accepted Date:  2016-02-26  MS Published Date:  2016-04-05
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Mulualem G "Review of Field Protocols on Herpetological Investigations: A Working Guide for Junior Herpetologists in Ethiopia" Journal of Zoology Studies 3.1 (2016): 27-34.
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Mulualem, G. (2016). Review of Field Protocols on Herpetological Investigations: A Working Guide for Junior Herpetologists in Ethiopia. Journal of Zoology Studies, 3(1), 27-34.
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Mulualem G. Review of Field Protocols on Herpetological Investigations: A Working Guide for Junior Herpetologists in Ethiopia. Journal of Zoology Studies. 2016; 3(1): 27-34.
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