Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 | 15 Rabi Al Awwal 1441
Atlas listing 101 reptiles found in Oman published online

Atlas listing 101 reptiles discovered in Oman published on-line

The Atlas of Terrestrial Reptiles of Oman
 is now obtainable more than the Internet for free of charge.

The atlas is an unprecedented information set that has been analysed with spatial tools to infer the patterns of species richness and endemicity. It also throws light on the habitat preference of every species and defines conservation priorities, with unique concentrate on the effectiveness of the protected places in preserving this special fauna.

“We have been functioning on it given that 2005, my initial expedition to Oman, and it was lastly published this year. The function has been published in a leading International journal (PlosONE)
 so it is scientifically extremely special inside Arabia,” Dr Salvador Carranza from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF), Spain, told Muscat Daily
.

Dr Carranza along with his 26 researchers and 13 members from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), Oman, scoured uncharted terrain for a lot more than a decade to compile the essential scientific information set about the wealthy reptile biodiversity.

Saleh al Saadi, director, Biodiversity Department, MECA, stated that this was a special project not undertaken anyplace else in the Arab globe. “This is not just identification of reptilian species and its simple description, but a unique project where each work is described based on its DNA identification.”

The atlas lists 101 species, out of which 20 are endemic to Oman. “Out of the 101 species, our team has discovered 21 species (20.7 per cent of all species). Of the 20 endemic species, our team has discovered 12 (60 per cent of all endemic species),” stated Dr Carranza.

Speaking about the species that stood out for him, Dr Carranza stated there was the biggest Hemidactylus from mainland Arabia (Hemidactylus luqueorum)
 with a size of up to 20cm that his team described in 2012. “It is endemic to Jebel Akhdar, where it lives mainly at elevations between 500m and 2,200m – a true mountaineer.”

The outcomes also show that the richness of reptilian species is highest in the Al Hajar and Dhofar mountains, two of the most biodiverse places in the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Al Hajar Mountains are special as they are residence to a extremely higher quantity of endemic species of each plants and animals. For instance, there are currently 19 species of described reptiles that do not reside anyplace else in the globe. The reptilian species of the Al Hajar Mountains are special and our research indicate that some of the species such as the nocturnal gecko – Asaccus montanus
 – have been living in this massif for the previous 20mn years. Some places of Jebel Akhdar have the highest levels of each species richness and endemic species richness.”

Dhofar governorate has the highest quantity of reptilian species (60) and South Sharqiyah has the highest quantity of endemic species (nine).

Dr Carranaza added that the function will aid the scientific neighborhood immensely as nicely any person searching for details on biodiversity in Oman.

“To have a good idea of how many species of terrestrial reptiles there are in Oman and where they live is a crucial first step for any ecological, behavioural and conservation study,” he stated. “Oman has an incredible reptile fauna that does not live anywhere else in the world. Once the Omani people get to know it and learn how to recognise it through studies like the one that we have done, I am sure that they will feel very proud of their unique biodiversity and will do their best to conserve it.”

A higher resolution PDF of the atlas is obtainable for free of charge at http://molevol.cmima.csic.es/carranza/data.html
 

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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