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.