Amphibians and Reptiles, Bulacan Province, Angat Watershed, northern Philippines: First herpetofaunal inventory
Asian Herpetological Research.
We report amphibian and reptile distribution records based on recent biodiversity surveys conducted at the Angat Watershed Reservation, Bulacan Province, Luzon Island, Philippines. This watershed constitutes the principal water source for Manila, the Philippines’ largest metropolitan area. As virtually nothing is known of the herpetological diversity of the immediate area and the surrounding Bulacan Province, all species recorded as part of our surveys constitute major geographical records and/or significant range extensions. Our data result in a total of 63 new records of amphibian (19 frogs) and reptile (22 lizards, 2 turtles, and 20 snakes) species for this protected area (and immediate vicinity) that serves as a watershed for the major metropolitan area of Manila and surrounding cities. Together with the few previous literature records, our new records bring the total number of amphibian and reptile species for Bulacan Province to 68. We discuss several strategies for future survey work (focusing on habitat type, seasonal variation, and elevational variability) that we anticipate will result in increased knowledge of diversity within the Angat Watershed Reserve. The impressive level of herpetological diversity within such a small area, so close to Metro Manila, emphasizes that the diversity and distribution patterns of amphibians and reptiles from Luzon are still poorly known and in need of further study.