Status of the Phylogeography, Taxonomy and Conservation of the Reptiles of the Gulf of California Islands

  • María Carmen BlázquezEmail author
  • Patricia Vázquez
  • Alfredo Ortega-Rubio


There are more than 90 species of reptiles on the islands of the Gulf of California, and almost half of that number are endemic to the islands. The origin and phylogeography of the species are diverse, and their taxonomy has been changing continuously, especially because of the development of new genetic and genomic techniques.

In this chapter, we summarize the current taxonomy and distribution of the lizards and snakes on the islands. We also summarize the Mexican legislation and regulations to protect them and the management of the natural protected areas that include all the islands.

The insular herpetofauna is well adapted to the climatic and biotic conditions of the islands; it has been evolving there, in isolation, for a very long time; and it is very fragile and unique. The reptiles face several threats including the introduction of exotic species and the illegal collecting. Some islands are also exposed to an increasing rate of tourism (ecotourism), and it is urgent to evaluate the effects of all these factors on the herpetological communities, in order to preserve this rich patrimony of biodiversity.


Biodiversity Biogeography Insular fauna Mexico 



The study was part of the activities developed with the economic support of the CONACYT sabbatical grant number 454959 to M.C. Blázquez and the Red Temática de Investigación of CONACyT project 293368 and the CONACYT Basic Science project 251919 to A. Ortega. The authors also want to thank Dr. M. Delibes and Mr C. Swann for allowing us to use their lizard pictures.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Carmen Blázquez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patricia Vázquez
    • 1
  • Alfredo Ortega-Rubio
    • 2
  1. 1.Behavioural Ecology Lab. Environmental Planning and Conservation ProgramCentro Investigaciones Biológicas Noroeste (CIBNOR)La PazMexico
  2. 2.Environmental Planning and Conservation ProgramCentro Investigaciones Biológicas Noroeste (CIBNOR)La PazMexico

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