The terrestrial vertebrates of the Federal Dependences of Venezuela.
Information on the terrestrial vertebrates present in the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela was compiled from museums and collections data, as well as analysis of the available bibliography. Of the 333 islands, keys and islets spread over 400000 km2 of the continental and marine surface of the country, work was carried out on ten with the largest surface and importance (Los Frailes, Los Testigos, Los Hermanos, La Blanquilla, La Tortuga, La Orchila, Los Roques, Las Aves, Aves y Los Monjes). All of them are characterized by scarce precipitation (∼100 mm), high temperature (28°C), high evaporation, strong winds and high relative humidity. Insular spaces are dominated by mangroves, thorn bushes and halophyte savannas. References about the fauna of the Federal Dependencies go back to accounts by European travelers and settlers since Discovery; explorations by Venezuelan researchers date from 1939. A total of 162 species were recorded, birds being the largest group with 132 species, of which 78 are migratory with a large percentage (57,6%) of aquatic habit. One exotic bird was reported (Bubulcus ibis). Ten mammal species were identified: three bats, the rabbit Sylvilagus floridanus and six introduced exotic species (domestic dog, cat, rat and mouse, goat and donkey). The 20 reptilians species registered were 16 lizards, three snakes and one native introduced turtle. Data is provided about endemic species: one mammal, 20 birds, three reptiles at sub-specific level and three at specific level. In critical situation are Amazona barbadensis, Columba squamosa and Margarops fuscatus.