The North West Province, South Africa, is centrally situated in southern Africa and is characterised by savannah with a mesic, temperate climate in the east and a hot, arid climate in the west. While the eastern region is fairly well-documented for herpetofauna, the arid central and western regions are poorly surveyed. Given that the Province has been targeted by the national government for development of infrastructure, the overall deficiency of biodiversity data could result in impact assessments that are not well-informed. We, therefore, carried out herpetofaunal surveys over two years (2019–2020) in the North West Province to improve knowledge on the distributions of reptiles and amphibians. Our surveys added a total of 578 new records to an earlier baseline of 1340 records. In addition, over 300 records were added to a citizen-science platform in connection with our surveys. As compared to the previous 100 years, our surveys increased the herpetofaunal dataset by 68% in just two years, increased geographic coverage by 20% and brought the total number of species with accurate records for the Province to 102 reptiles and 23 amphibians. We also recorded range extensions for five reptile species and confirmed the presence of Dendroaspis polylepis (Black Mamba) in the west where it had been last recorded in 1996. Our surveys resulted in a significant increase in biodiversity data for the Province and provided a better foundation for spatial planning that accounts for biodiversity and the maintenance of ecological function.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 577 records.
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How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Tolley K, Telford N, Makhubo B, Power J, Alexander G (2022): Filling the gap: Noteworthy herpetological discoveries in North West Province, South Africa. v1.3. South African National Biodiversity Institute. Dataset/Occurrence. https://iptbeta.sanbi.org.za/resource?r=northwest_survey_reptiles&v=1.3
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
The publisher and rights holder of this work is South African National Biodiversity Institute. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: e436deef-3eea-4090-be2d-c35bdbb8de83. South African National Biodiversity Institute publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by South African Biodiversity Information Facility.
Occurrence; HumanObservation; PreservedSpecimen; MaterialSample; Herpetological discoveries; North West Province
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North West Province
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-28.169, 22.676], North East [-24.607, 28.279]|
No Description available
|Start Date / End Date||2017-11-28 / 2020-03-14|
Occurrence records from databases that were available on commonly accessed public databases prior to surveys were used.
|Study Extent||North West Province|
|Quality Control||Dataset was updated for outdated taxonomy and checked for geographic coordinate errors as compared to locality descriptions|
Method step description:
- As of 31 December 2018, species distribution maps were downloaded from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (https://www.iucnredlist.org/) and the South African Species Status website (http://speciesstatus.sanbi. org/). Species richness maps in QGIS v.3.2 were created by using the counts of species per grid cell and by using a color gradient.
|Purpose||The North West province has been targeted by the national government for development of infrastructure. The overall deficiency of biodiversity data could result in impact assessments that are not well-informed. Herpetofaunal surveys were done over two years (2019–2020) in the North West Province to improve knowledge on the distributions of reptiles and amphibians.|
|Maintenance Description||As needed|