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Most of the islands of the Caribbean have long histories of herpetological exploration and discovery, and even longer histories of human-mediated environmental degradation. Collectively, they constitute a major biodiversity hotspot – a region rich in endemic species that are threatened with extinction. This two-volume series documents the existing status of herpetofaunas (including sea turtles) of the Caribbean, and highlights conservation needs and efforts. Previous contributions to West Indian herpetology have focused on taxonomy, ecology and evolution, particularly of lizards. This series provides a unique and timely review of the status and conservation of all groups of amphibians and reptiles in the region. This volume introduces the issues particularly affecting Caribbean herpetofaunas, and gives an overview of evolutionary and taxonomic patterns influencing their conservation.