Amphibians and Reptiles, Luzon Island, Aurora Province and Aurora Memorial National Park, Northern Philippines: New island distribution records
We report 35 new amphibian and reptile distribution records for two regions within the southern Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Aurora Province, central Luzon Island, Philippines. Together with results of our previous survey work in Aurora, our new data result in a total of 82 amphibian and reptile species for the area. These results highlight the degree to which the island’s biodiversity continues to be underestimated and poorly understood. We report on observations of rarely encountered species including the skink Sphenomorphus leucospilos, the forest gecko Luperosaurus cf. cumingii, and a sensational new species of monitor lizard, Varanus bitatawa. Our recent collections clarify the conservation status of the “critically endangered” Polillo Island forest frog Platymantis polillensis, now known to be widespread, abundant, and common throughout Camarines Norte, Quezon, and Aurora Provinces on the adjacent mainland of Luzon Island. These results add to our growing understanding of many species’ distributions in the region.