Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Maureen A. Donnelly

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Suzanne Koptur

Third Advisor's Name

Thomas Philippi

Date of Defense



In order to explore the conservation ecology of frogs and lizards in the Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica, I compared populations and communities among forest fragments and La Selva Biological Station, as well as across 35 years of sampling at La Selva. Species richness in nine fragments combined was 85% of that found in La Selva, and community composition varied among sites and by fragment size class. Although communities in fragments differed fundamentally from those in intact forest, the high diversity observed across all fragments indicates that preserving a network of small forest patches may be of great conservation value to the herpetofauna of this region. According to data from past studies at La Selva, most common species of leaf-litter frogs and lizards demonstrated significant decreases in density over the 35-year period. My findings may represent either natural population fluctuations or sweeping faunal declines at this site.




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Included in

Biology Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).