Winners and losers: the impacts of modifying natural landscapes on amphibian and reptile assemblages in eastern Australia
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Human modified landscapes produce a range of new habitats for wildlife. We examined herpetological species composition in several studies comparing continuous and fragmented natural areas, agricultural landscapes, and golf courses of eastern Australia. The collated results indicate that the conservation value of modified landscapes varies enormously- providing an excellent opportunity to suggest management guidelines to enhance conservation values of these areas. Some species thrive in heavily modified habitats (the winners) while many species disappear (losers). We compare the ecological characteristics geographic range, habitat specialisation, reproductive ecology, etc., of these herpetofaunal groups. The "winners" provide insight into the ecological pre-adaptations that allow some species to cope with habitat modification, while the "losers" allow us to predict species that are susceptible to extinction processes. Both groups demonstrate the magnitude of change in habitat and community dynamics resulting from landscape modification across eastern Australia.
New Zealand Journal of Zoology