Short Communication

Another reptile translocation to a national park

W.R. Branch, H.H. Braack
Koedoe | Vol 33, No 1 | a457 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v33i1.457 | © 1990 W.R. Branch, H.H. Braack | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 1990 | Published: 20 October 1990

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W.R. Branch, Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa
H.H. Braack, Karoo National Park, South Africa

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Abstract

On 4 May 1988 a sub-adult (50 mm snout-vent length, 42 mm tail) Jones' girdled lizard Cordylus tropidosternum jonesi was collected in a pile of wood being off-loaded at the new restcamp in the Karoo National Park, Beaufort West. The wood had been transported by lorry from the Kruger National Park. The specimen is deposited in the herpetological collection of the Port Elizabeth Museum (PEM R 4584). Jones' girdled lizard is a small, arboreal cordylid that shelters under tree bark and in hollow logs. It is common and widely-distributed in the Kruger National Park (Pienaar, Haacke & Jacobsen 1983, The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park, 3rd edition. Pretoria: National Parks Board) and adjacent lowveld, being replaced in northern Zimbabwe and East Africa by the nominate race. Hewitt & Power (1913, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 3: 147-176, 1913) reported a similar translocation of the species to Kimberley in association with timber brought to the diamond mining camps. One of us noted recently the ease and danger of the unwitting spread of commensal reptile species into conservation areas (Branch 1978, Koedoe 30: 165), and this is confirmed by this additional example. We recommend that should similar shipments of wood be considered essential, then they be fumigated to prevent the translocation of other alien organisms that may potentially have more dangerous consequences.

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