A survey of the herpetofauna of Merriwindi State Conservation Area, a small conservation reserve in the western Pilliga forest in northern inland New South Wales, was done over the period 2009 to 2011. In total, 14 frog species (three families) and 25 reptile species (eight families) were recorded by a combination of diurnal active searches, nocturnal road transects and nocturnal searches of water bodies. The herpetofauna community includes a mix of western (Eyrean), northern (Torresian) and eastern (Bassian) species and demonstrates the significant species diversity and conservation value of the Pilliga forest's herpetofauna. Noteworthy findings from this study included the threatened Pale-headed Snake Hoplocephalus bitorquatus, a number of declining woodland reptile species such as the Nobbi Diporiphora nobbi , Brown-blazed Ctenotus Ctenotus allotropis and Australian Coral Snake Brachyurophis australis, and the first documented record of the Striped Burrowing Frog Cyclorana alboguttata from the western Pilliga forest. This study provides a useful benchmark of the composition and status of the herpetofauna community of Merriwindi SCA in the early years following a land management shift from timber production to conservation.
Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Merriwindi State Conservation Area in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales
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Michael J. Murphy, Jessica K. Murphy; Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Merriwindi State Conservation Area in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 September 2015; 37 (4): 517–528. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2015.021
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