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The pre-1800 formal descriptions of the Australian herpetofauna, all of which originated from the first European settlement at Sydney Cove (1788), are briefly documented. The frogs and reptiles likely to have been present in 21 current reserves in the Sydney basin (defined by a semicircle with Sydney at its centre and a radius equal to the distance from Sydney to Kiama: ca. 100 km) in 1788 are compared with those species present or suspected to be present today. Extent of herpetofaunal loss in these reserves over the past 220 years is estimated and correlated with reserve size, showing that approximately 90% of the original fauna is retained at a mean minimum reserve size ofca. 16,000 ha.

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