Contribution to the knowledge of the Reptile fauna and diversity in FYR of Macedonia
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Although reptile fauna of FYR of Macedonia (FYROM) was the matter of interest since more than a century, detailed distributions of most of the species are still missing. According to published data, 32 reptile species inhabit FYROM. In this paper, detailed distribution data of reptile species in FYROM are presented. Research of herpetofauna of FYROM was conducted from 1999 until 2012 and included 393 localities. For 32 recorded reptile species, exact localities and altitudes, as well as published records are given. Analyses of the reptile diversity of the FYROM showed that the regions with the highest species diversity are: the Prespa and Ohrid Lake Region, Skopje region, Veles region and the Dojran Lake Region, with 18-21 reptile species per UTM 10 x 10 squares. These regions should be considered for the future designation of important herpetological areas at national level. Results of comparative analysis of reptile faunas from all Balkan countries showed that Macedonian fauna is the most similar with Albanian (92.537) and Bulgarian (90.909) reptile faunas. Zoogeographic analysis showed that reptile fauna of FYROM consists of eight chorotypes in total, the most dominant chorotype being the Eastern-Mediterranean with 13 species, followed by the Turano-Mediterranean with six and Southern-European with five species. Detailed distribution data of this study could be basis for future action plans, protection and conservation measures of reptiles in FYROM, and should be implemented in the national legislation and acts. In addition, this data are imperative for the Red Data Book of reptilians and designation of the Important Herpetological Areas in the country.