Added Discoglossidae family. Bufo boulengeri renamed to Bufotes boulengeri. Bufo brongersmai renamed to Barbarophryne brongersmai.
Beukema, W.; De Pous, P.; Donaire-Barroso, D.; Bogaerts, S.; García-Porta, J.; Escoriza, D.; Arribas, O.J.; El Mouden, E.H. & Carranza, S. 2013. Review of the systematics, distribution, biogeography and natural history of Moroccan amphibians. Zootaxa 3661(1):1-60.
www.moroccoherps.com has established a partnership with Encyclopedia of Life whereby www.moroccoherps.com becomes eol.org content partner. Under this agreement, part of the contents of www.moroccoherps.com will be licensed under a Creative Commons license. We believe this collaboration will help to increase significantly the visibility of our project (Encyclopedia of Life receives over one million visits per month) which will contribute to achieving our goals, promote awareness and protection of the herpetofauna of NW Africa.
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science. It is compiled from existing databases and from contributions by experts and non-experts throughout the world. It aims to build one “infinitely expandable” page for each species, including video, sound, images, graphics, as well as text. In addition, the Encyclopedia incorporates content from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, which digitizes millions of pages of printed literature from the world’s major natural history libraries. The project was initially backed by a US$50 million funding commitment, led by the MacArthur Foundation and the Sloan Foundation, who provided US$20 million and US$5 million, respectively. The additional US$25 million came from five cornerstone institutions – the Field Museum, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory,the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, participating institutions and individual donors continue to support EOL through financial contributions.
EOL went live on 26 February 2008 with 30,000 entries. The site immediately proved to be extremely popular, and temporarily had to revert to demonstration pages for two days when it was overrun by traffic from over 11 million views it received.
The site relaunched on 5 September, 2011 with a redesigned interface and tools. The new version –referred to as EOLv2– was developed in response to requests from the general public, citizen scientists, educators and professional biologists for a site that was more engaging, accessible and personal. EOLv2 is redesigned to enhance usability and encourage contributions and interactions among users. The product is also internationalized with interfaces provided for English, German, Spanish, French, Galician, Serbian, Macedonian and Arabic language speakers.
The initiative’s Executive Committee includes senior officers from the Atlas of Living Australia, the Biodiversity Heritage Library consortium, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, CONABIO, Field Museum, Harvard University, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria), MacArthur Foundation, Marine Biological Laboratory, Missouri Botanical Garden, Sloan Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution.
If we were interested in publishing any of the photographs added to the group in the gallery of the web, we would contact the author to ask their permission. For adding photographs to the group, these must be of amphibians or reptiles photographed free in Morocco or the Western Sahara. This means that we will not accept photos of the injured and dying cobras from the Djemma El-Fná Square in Marrakech, nor chameleons and turtles locked in cages that you can find in many of the Moroccan souks. We will accept the photographs of captured species “in hand” if the species or the circumstances require it, although, we will give preference to the photos that show the animals in their natural habitat or attitudes. The same conditions are applicable to videos.
The team that remained in Morocco to try to find the elusive Varano has returned.
In addition to finding the Varanus griseus, a species more abundant toward Egypt and the Middle East but very scarce in Morocco, they also found these interesting species to be added to the list of species of the previous post:
Part of the team has returned with the memory cards full of pictures and videos, while another part continue in Morocco in search of the elusive Varanus and the mythical Echis.
From the logistics point of view, the trip was from the beginning a complete disaster, with one of the cars, a Land Rover Defender, broken down just as we touched African soil, forcing us to completely rethink the trip and to go towards the SW instead of SE as planned.
However, the bad luck with our vehicles contrasted with the good luck with herpetofauna, despite the setbacks we found and photographed some of the most emblematic species of reptiles of Morocco.
Before doing an exhaustive account, to confirm the identifications and waiting for the rest of the team to return, the list of species observed and photographed (alive) can be summarized as follows:
Taking advantage of the late Easter vacations this year, the team of www.moroccoherps.com is embarking in a new herpetology expedition to the north of Africa. The idea is to prospect the arid SE visiting Figuig and the Tigri and Chebbi ergs, although the route is flexible and we will decide at the moment depending on the meteorology, the cars, Islamic revolutions and other unexpected problems.
When we get back we hope to show here a good collection of photographs of cobras, desert Varanus, and other species, probably not so famous, but not less fascinating. If as usual, the cobras and Varanus do not appear, at least we will have some tales to tell.
We are happy to launch www.moroccoherps.com, a newly designed WEB that hopes to host in a single space all the information and the most complete collection of species descriptions about the reptiles and amphibians of Morocco and the Western Sahara.
The northwestern part of the African continent is special for the richness and variety of its amphibian and reptile fauna, being considered as a real hotspot of biodiversity. Unfortunately, because of the socioeconomic circumstances of the area the protection of its nature richness is not a priority of the local authorities, the imminent and future economic development of the area, especially in the North, with changes in the mode of resources exploitation and the transformation of their traditional activities, foretell important menaces for the wild flora and fauna.
The reptiles and amphibians that include many endemisms (species that cannot be found in any other place of the world) together with relic isolated populations of subtropical species with a great genetic interest are especially vulnerable to brusque changes in agriculture and cattle farming techniques and to habitat transformation, like the development of extensive monocultures o mechanization, and the uncontrolled urbanization of coastal areas.
This WEB page pretends to contribute to improve the knowledge, poor in many cases, about the herp species in the area, a necessary and previous step towards their protection.
With at least 115 species present in the area, many of them not studied, this is a very ambitious project with a lot of work in front of us. We have started publishing some sketches of species pages that will pass to a definitive status as the information they contain is completed, revised and validated. The species page of de Emys orbicularis inaugurates our collection of pages about the amphibians and reptiles of Morocco and the Western Sahara.
We pretend to give a detailed description of each species to permit its identification and differentiation from other similar ones. Furthermore, the species pages will include the ecology and habits, the distribution area and the abundance of the studied species, the state of conservation of the known populations, the menaces they have, and all illustrated with many original photographs shot by the authors and collaborators team. The information we include does not only come from the revision of existing bibliography, but it will be completed with our personal observations and own data from the authors of the WEB.
We animate all people interested in amphibians and reptiles to collaborate sending photos, cites, observations or any other data, to link and give publicity to the WEB, to comment in the blog and to subscribe via the RSS chanel, Twitter or Facebook, to be informed of actualizations, articles, activities and new species pages published in the WEB.
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