A herpetofaunal inventory and distribution study was conducted at the Inhotim Institute in Brumadinho Municipality (State of Minas Gerais, Southeastern Brazil). The Inhotim Institute is located in a transition area between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes, and the study site encompasses natural forest fragments (secondary forest) and landscaped areas with buildings and gardens representing human occupancy. Comparison between these habitats provides a test as to whether human habitats designed to be interwoven with small tracts of wild habitat are sufficient to maintain a broad array of native species, as proposed in the concept known as “reconciliation ecology.” We conducted field work during 7 d per month from January 2008 to January 2009, except for December 2008. We used pitfall traps with drift fences, visual and auditory surveys, and random records and capture by persons not directly involved in the study in both forest and anthropogenic habitats. We recorded 65 species which included 32 amphibians and 33 reptiles. Three anurans and one lizard were introduced species (probably from the transport of plants from other states for landscaping) and were excluded from our analyses. Most species recorded have a wide geographic distribution and generalist habits. Herpetofaunal species richness was greater in anthropogenic areas, possibly due to the generalist habits of most species and because such areas have a greater availability of suitable breeding habitats for amphibians. The sampling methods used proved to be complementary, with no single method capturing all species. The number of species recorded was high compared to other Brazilian sites, suggesting that the reconciliation ecology approach might be an effective conservation strategy for herpetofauna at the Inhotim Institute.
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Vol. 69 • No. 2