The herpetofauna of the Gaza Strip with particular emphasis on the vicinity of Wadi Gaza

Abdel Fattah N Abd Rabou , Maged M Yassin, Mohammed R Al-Agha, Dawi M Hamad, Abdel Karim S Ali

Abstract


The reptiles and amphibians of the Gaza Strip and Wadi Gaza were surveyed during a period of two years (2002 – 2004). A total number of 21 herpetofaunistic species (2 turtles, 8 lizards, 8 snakes and 3 anurans) belonging to three orders and 15 families was encountered. The species described were all resident and were mostly found throughout the year. The diversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the study area encouraged the occurrence of the species. However, the ever-increasing human impact on the existing natural resources in the Gaza Strip has threatened the ecology of wildlife, where the populations of frogs and many reptilian species are declining in an alarming fashion. The results reinforce the necessity of long-term inventories in order to understand the ecology and the dynamics of herpetofaunistic and other wildlife communities in the study area. Finally, the authors recommend improving cooperation of different parties to enhance the public awareness among the Palestinians and to implement environmental laws and legislation to conserve the sensitive and rare species of herpetofauna

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