Kadoorie Conservation China

Tai Po, Hong Kong

Kadoorie Conservation China

Tai Po, Hong Kong

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Wang Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Zhao J.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yang J.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Zhou Z.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China. © 2014 Wang et al.

Wang Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Yang J.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Liu Y.,Sun Yat Sen University
Asian Herpetological Research | Year: 2013

Sphenomorphus tonkinensis is a recently described new species based on specimens collected from northern Vietnam and Hainan, China. Herein, we report 13 additional specimens of S. tonkinensis from five new localities in Guangxi, Guangdong and Jiangxi, southern China. These specimens were compared with the type specimens of S. tonkinensis, which allows us to revise the diagnostic characteristics of this newly described species. Additional information on morphological variation, distribution and reproductive biology are provided, which extends our understanding of the natural history of S. tonkinensis.

Sung Y.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Yang J.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Yang J.,Sun Yat Sen University | Wang Y.,Sun Yat Sen University
Asian Herpetological Research | Year: 2014

A new species, Leptolalax laui sp. nov. is described based on specimens collected from Hong Kong and Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China. The new species can be distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and molecular data. The new species is characterized by the following characters: 1) small size (adult males SVL 24.8.1 mm-26.7 mm); 2) near immaculate creamy white chest and belly; 3) broad lateral fringes on toes; 4) head longer or as long as wide; 5) distinct dark brown spots in flank; 6) moderate dermal fringes on fingers; 7) brown or reddish-brown dorsum with fine round scattered tubercles; 8) thin traverse brownish-grey bars on the dorsal surface of tibia and lower arms; 9) longitudinal ridges under toes not interrupted at the articulations.

Sung Y.-H.,University of Hong Kong | Karraker N.E.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Hau B.C.H.,University of Rhode Island
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Harvesting pressure on Asian freshwater turtles is severe, and dramatic population declines of these turtles are being driven by unsustainable collection for food markets, pet trade, and traditional Chinese medicine. Populations of big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) have declined substantially across its distribution, particularly in China, because of overcollection. To understand the effects of chronic harvesting pressure on big-headed turtle populations, we examined the effects of illegal harvesting on the demography of populations in Hong Kong, where some populations still exist. We used mark-recapture methods to compare demographic characteristics between sites with harvesting histories and one site in a fully protected area. Sites with a history of illegal turtle harvesting were characterized by the absence of large adults and skewed ratios of juveniles to adults, which may have negative implications for the long-term viability of populations. These sites also had lower densities of adults and smaller adult body sizes than the protected site. Given that populations throughout most of the species' range are heavily harvested and individuals are increasingly difficult to find in mainland China, the illegal collection of turtles from populations in Hong Kong may increase over time. Long-term monitoring of populations is essential to track effects of illegal collection, and increased patrolling is needed to help control illegal harvesting of populations, particularly in national parks. Because few, if any, other completely protected populations remain in the region, our data on an unharvested population of big-headed turtles serve as an important reference for assessing the negative consequences of harvesting on populations of stream turtles. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

Xue G.-X.,Zhengzhou University of Light Industry | Lo Y.F.P.,Kadoorie Conservation China
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

The purpose of this paper is to restore Erionota acroleuca (Wood-Mason & de Nicéville, 1881) as a valid name, and to establish Erionota acroleuca apicalis de Jong & Treadaway, 1992 as a new subspecific combination, with its immature biology briefly introduced. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Yang J.-H.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Sung Y.-H.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Chan B.P.-L.,Kadoorie Conservation China
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

A new natricid snake of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872, Opisthotropis laui sp. nov., is described from Mt. Gudou, Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province, China. The new species can be distinguished from other congeners by the combina-tion of the following characters: dorsal scales weakly keeled throughout, in 25:23:23 rows; 10 supralabials; 11 infralabials; two internasals, longer than wide, not touching the loreal; one loreal, not touching the eye; one preocular; two postoculars; one anterior temporal scale; 152 ventrals; 53 subcaudals; body and tail dark olive above, with light yellow crossbars. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

Yuan L.-Y.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology | Chan B.P.L.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Zhang E.,CAS Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

A detailed morphological comparison of the currently recognized subspecies, Acrossocheilus iridescens longipinnis and A. i. iridescens, shows that there are differences in body coloration of juveniles and some osteological characters, in addition to the structure of the first branched dorsal-fin ray and the shape of the distal edge of the dorsal fin which are currently used to distinguish them. These differences support the taxonomic elevation of the two subspecies to species. Based on examination of the type specimens of Acrossocheilus stenotaeniatus, and comparison with A. longipinnis, it is concluded that A. longipinnis is a senior synonym of A. stenotaeniatus. Acrossocheilus longipinnis is redescribed. The current generic classification of the two species is discussed based on the body coloration of juveniles and ontogenetic color change. Copyright © 2001-2012 Magnolia Press.

Yang J.-H.,Kadoorie Conservation China | Chan B.P.-L.,Kadoorie Conservation China
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

Two new species of large geckos in the genus Goniurosaurus are described based on specimens collected from karst areas of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China: Goniurosaurus kadoorieorum sp. Nov. and Goniurosaurus kwangsiensis sp. Nov. Data on natural history of the new species are provided, as well as discussions on the current con-servation status of Goniurosaurus species in southern China. Due to the popularity of this genus as novelty pets, and re-curring cases of scientific descriptions driving herpetofauna to near-extinction by commercial collectors, we do not disclose the collecting localities of these restricted-range species in this publication. However, such information has been presented to relevant government agencies, and is available upon request by fellow scientists. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Yang J.-H.,Kadoorie Conservation China
Zootaxa | Year: 2015

A new species of the genus Gekko is described on the basis of six specimens from Wuming county of Guangxi, southern China. Gekko kwangsiensis sp. nov. is distinguished from other congeners by a combination of the following characters: body relatively small (SVL 64.2-69.7 mm in adults), slender; nares in contact with rostral; internasal absent or single; postmentals two (rarely three), enlarged; interorbital scales between anterior corners of the eyes 29-31; dorsal tubercle rows 9-11; ventral scales between mental and cloacal slit 185-208; midbody scale rows 143-156; ventral scale rows 41-45; subdigital lamellae on first toe 11-13, on fourth toe 13-18; finger and toe webbing weakly developed; tubercles absent on upper surface of fore limbs and hind limbs; precloacal pores nine or ten in males, absent in females; postcloacal tubercle single; tubercles present on dorsal surface of tail base; subcaudals enlarged; dorsal surface of body with 9 or 10 thin light bands between nape and sacrum, and dorsal surface of tail with remarkable black and white bands. Data on the natural history of the new species are provided, and the number of species in the genus Gekko recorded from China is now 17. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Two individuals of Tritetrabdella taiwana that attached to a microhylid Asian painted frog, Kaloula pulchra, were collected in Hong Kong, China. This finding represents a new microhylid host record for T. taiwana. Additionally, molecular phylogenetic analyses were conducted based on COI sequence data. The present phylogenies indicated that further taxonomic studies are needed to clarify the taxonomic status of the species of Tritetrabdella. © The Helminthological Society of Washington.

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