Vol. 18 No. 2 (2023)

Diversity, distribution, habitat preferences and community assemblages of Amphibians and Reptiles in the “Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni” National Park (Campania, Southern Italy)

Antonio Romano
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche- Istituto per la BioEconomia, Via dei Taurini, 19 - 00100 Roma (RM)
Luigi Sansone
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche- Istituto per la BioEconomia, Via dei Taurini, 19 - 00100 Roma (RM)
Alfio Cacace
Via Pagliarelle, 15 - 80059 Torre del greco (NA)
Dino Biancolini
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche- Istituto per la BioEconomia, Via dei Taurini, 19 - 00100 Roma (RM)

Published 2023-12-27


  • Herpetofauna,
  • protected areas,
  • community ecology,
  • elevation range,
  • species rarity

How to Cite

Romano, A., Sansone, L., Cacace, A., & Biancolini, D. (2023). Diversity, distribution, habitat preferences and community assemblages of Amphibians and Reptiles in the “Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni” National Park (Campania, Southern Italy). Acta Herpetologica, 18(2), 115–129. https://doi.org/10.36253/a_h-14562


Amphibians and reptiles are important ecological indicators of ecosystem status and play significant ecological roles. However, their populations are declining globally due to factors such as climate and land-use change. To effectively manage these species, it is crucial to study their distribution in protected areas. In this study, we provide new information on the distribution and ecology of amphibians and reptiles in the “Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni” (CVDA) National Park in southern Italy. We used a comprehensive dataset consisting of 2465 records obtained from fieldwork, citizen science, and literature to evaluate species’ rarity, habitat preferences and community assemblage. We investigated whether differences in species richness across different habitat types and elevations resulted from species selection of different environmental conditions. We quantified species probability of observation in different habitat types and estimated the significance of species-habitat associations. Species rarity was assessed by considering geographic range, population abundance, and habitat breadth. Collected data substantially improved knowledge of the distribution of numerous species compared to published data. Our findings are generally consistent with the species’ ecological information available in Italy, but we also found some species’ peculiar ecological aspects that are little-known. The CVDA National Park emerges as an effective protected area that ensures good conservation status of the herpetofauna, also in the case of species showing population and range declines at the national scale.


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