Platysaurus monotropis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Cordylidae

Scientific Name: Platysaurus monotropis Jacobsen, 1994
Common Name(s):
English Orange-throated Flat Lizard

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2013-05-16
Assessor(s): Whiting, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Bates, M.F.
Has an extremely restricted distribution with extent of occurrence (EOO = 185 km2) and area of occupancy (AOO  = 130 km2) well below the Endangered thresholds. Subpopulations are all in relatively close proximity and comprise less than five locations [B1a+2a]. Although these lizards are rupicolous, they are probably dependent on a healthy surrounding habitat for their insect prey. The area surrounding their rock outcrops is often heavily overgrazed or planted with crops. It is therefore likely that habitat quality has decreased with increasing human habitation in the area [B1b(iii)+2b(iii)]. The species therefore qualifies for listing as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Limpopo Province, South Africa. Has an extremely restricted distribution, known from only two quarter degree grid cells (2328BB, 2328BD).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Limpopo Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:130
Number of Locations:2-4
Lower elevation limit (metres):1200
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Occurs on small isolated rock outcrops that in some cases may support fewer than 20 individuals (Korner et al. 2000). This population has not been surveyed since 1998 (Korner et al. 2000) and therefore population trends cannot be deduced.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:250-2500Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:10-20
All individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:50-250

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Found on rocky outcrops of Waterberg sandstone at elevations of 1,200 m (Jacobsen 1989, 1994). These outcrops are typically small and may range in size from <30 m in diameter to >500 m in diameter; they may be as close as 50 m apart or more than 1 km apart (Korner et al. 2000). The species is dependent on narrow rocky crevices for refuge.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not known to be traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Plausible threats are agriculture (crops), overgrazing and wood harvesting. Although these activities do not affect the lizards directly, they are likely to affect the availability of their insect prey. The future severity of these threats may depend upon human population growth rate at nearby communities. This lizard occurs on small isolated rock outcrops that in some cases may support fewer than 20 individuals (Korner et al. 2000). The size of subpopulations is likely to be a function of outcrop size and might also be affected by interspecific competition with P. minor (Korner et al. 2000). The small size of many of these subpopulations will make them more susceptible to natural and anthropogenic environmental perturbations. Because of the small range of Platysaurus monotropis, and the vulnerability of its habitat of small rock outcrops, any future collection for commercial purposes could be greatly detrimental to the population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conduct a Population and Habitat Viability Analysis (PHVA) and establish a Species Management Plan (BMP-S). As a first step to the latter, survey all potential habitat consisting of Waterberg sandstone rock outcrops (the species will be readily visible if present). Assess this habitat in the context of the surrounding vegetation in which the species’ insect prey lives. It is imperative to gain an understanding of how vegetation and insect availability interact and affect the presence and abundance of Platysaurus monotropis. Furthermore, if the terrain surrounding rocky outcrops is devoid of vegetation, this could impede dispersal. Given the small size of occupied outcrops, dispersal is likely to be an important factor regulating population growth. Future conservation measures should thus address the question of whether vegetation restoration in the surrounding terrain is important for population maintenance and growth.

Citation: Whiting, M.J. 2017. Platysaurus monotropis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T110164784A110311536. . Downloaded on 28 May 2018.
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