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Lepidodactylus listeri 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae

Scientific Name: Lepidodactylus listeri (Boulenger, 1889)
Common Name(s):
English Christmas Island Chained Gecko, Lister’s Gecko
Synonym(s):
Gecko listeri Boulenger, 1889

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-02-20
Assessor(s): Cogger, H. & Mitchell, N.M, Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Harris, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tognelli, M.
Justification:
The species was considered to be abundant in 1979 (Cogger et al. 1983), but it has undergone a decline in numbers, and surveys in 1998 and 2008 did not successfully locate any individuals. Many recent intensive surveys in the island, at appropriate times, seasons, and habitats have not recorded the species again. The last individual recorded in the wild was in 2012 (Parks Australia). There is a successful captive breeding program and the population is increasing. The species is therefore listed as Extinct in the Wild.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species was endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. It was last recorded in October 2012 (Andrew et al. 2016) despite subsequent extensive surveys, and is now considered to be extinct in the wild.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Christmas Island
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0-1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species was considered to be abundant in 1979 (Cogger et al. 1983), but it has undergone a decline in numbers, and surveys in 1998 and 2008 did not successfully locate any individuals. From August 2009 as many individuals as possible were taken into captivity, a total of 43 animals, in order to develop a captive breeding programme (Andrew et al. 2016). Many recent intensive surveys in the island, at appropriate times, seasons, and habitats have not recorded the species. The last individual recorded in the wild was in 2012 (Andrew et al. 2016). There is a successful captive breeding programme and the population is increasing.
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species was most abundant within primary forest of the plateau, and was able to adapt to disturbed habitat and secondary growth with mature trees (Cogger 2006). It was least abundant on the terraces on the northeastern, eastern and southern sides of the island and absent in all mined areas (Cogger 2006). This species is nocturnal and arboreal and shelters during the day under bark (Cogger 2006). This species has a clutch size of two and a maximum snout-vent length of 51.5 mm (Cogger 2005). This species is almost entirely arboreal (Cogger 2005).
Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use of or trade in the species, which no longer appears to survive as a wild population.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The main threat to this species was predation by the introduced Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus), which is presumed to have driven the species to near-extinction in the wild following its arrival on the island in around 1982; the majority of the remaining wild population was taken into captivity from 2009 and the wild population has apparently subsequently been lost. Secondary threats are likely to have existed from other exotic predators, including Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes), feral cats, rats and an invasive centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) (Andrew et al. 2016) - most of these species have, however, been established for a century or more and cannot be considered major drivers of the observed decline, while crazy ant populations are concentrated in coastal and near coastal areas rather than the plateau. The captive population was infected by the Enterococcus virus, probably originating in Asia, however, this may not be a severe threat as the captive population is increasing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is currently listed as Critically Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), an act of the Australian government. This species range also coincides with the Christmas Island National Park. In 2009 a captive breeding programme was established on Christmas Island, with another population established at Taronga Zoo in 2011 (Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2014). Andrew et al. (2016) reports that the Christmas Island captive population then contained 70 individuals, and the Taronga population was established from 56 animals. Reintroduction of this species to the wild is not feasible in the forseeable future, as it is not presently possible to eradicate Wolf Snakes and other exotic predators from Christmas Island.

Citation: Cogger, H. & Mitchell, N.M, Woinarski, J. 2017. Lepidodactylus listeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T11559A83321765. . Downloaded on 14 December 2017.
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