Contributions to Zoology, 86 (4) – 2017Samuel G. Penny; Angelica Crottini; Franco Andreone; Adriana Bellati; Lovasoa M.S. Rakotozafy; Marc W. Holderied; Christoph Schwitzer; Gonçalo M. Rosa: Combining old and new evidence to increase the known biodiversity value of the Sahamalaza Peninsula, Northwest Madagascar

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Survey effort

Sampling techniques varied in efficiency. All species were detected during either opportunistic or transect searching and we consider this to be the most efficient survey methods. Pitfall trapping contributed the fewest number of specimens and proved ineffective at capturing amphibians, which are often proficient climbers or strong jumpers, enabling them to escape; the technique was more useful for the detection of fossorial reptile species, although all species we detected through pitfall trapping were also identified through other sampling techniques. However, in 2000 they enabled the discovery of the so far only known specimen of Pseudioacontias menamainty. Automated acoustic recording allowed for the rapid detection of amphibian species within a habitat; however as amphibian vocalisations are usually limited to the breeding period (Glaw and Vences, 2007) seasonally in-active species will have been missed. Existing audio reference recordings were required to correctly pair a vocalisation to a species during the analysis stage, thus automated acoustic recording must be used in tandem with other sampling methods to avoid missing the vocalisations of undescribed or unknown taxa. Thus, in our opinion this technique is more suited to habitat surveys for areas where most species are already known, rather than species inventories in limited surveyed areas. Despite providing no unique species records compared to the other techniques, unlike pitfall trapping, it required minimal field effort and enabled the expansion of monitoring to areas that may otherwise have been missed. We thus consider it to be a very useful tool for herpetological surveys.