Gastropholis prasina 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Gastropholis prasina
Species Authority: Werner, 1904
Common Name(s):
English Green Keel-bellied Lizard
Bedriagaia moreaui Loveridge, 1936

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-01-26
Assessor(s): Spawls, S., Malonza, P., Msuya, C.A. & Beraduccii, J.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Listed as Near Threatened on the basis that, while this species occurs as a severely fragmented population and has an extent of occurrence slightly below 5,000 km2, with a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat due to agricultural expansion and population growth, much of its range lies within well-protected reserves and it is therefore not thought to be at immediate risk, but this situation will change if pressures on the species increase. It almost qualifies for listing in a threatened category under criterion B1ab(iii).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from a limited number of localities between sea level and 2,000 m asl. scattered along the Eastern Arc and the coastal plain of Kenya and Tanzania (Spawls et al. 2002, S. Spawls pers. comm. 2014). Known named localities include Watamu, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Amani in the Usambara Mountains, Tanga, Zaraninge Forest, and the Nguru Mountains (Spawls et al. 2002). It probably also occurs in Kenya's Shimba Hills, but has yet to be recorded there despite suitable habitat and numerous surveys in this region (Spawls et al. 2002, P. Malonza and S. Spawls pers. comms. 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are few records of this species (Spawls et al. 2002), which Arnold (1989) describes as "very rare". No other population information is available. The species appears to be strongly associated with closed-canopy forest, the distribution of which is highly fragmentary in coastal East Africa, and the wide separation between the known localities is presumed to reflect genuine population fragmentation.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been recorded from forest, woodland and coastal thicket (Spawls et al. 2002). It is diurnal, secretive and arboreal (Spawls et al. 2002), although there is no certainty regarding whether this is a canopy species or found primarily close to the ground (Arnold 1989). Specimens have been found both close to the ground (Arnold 1989) and as high as 12 m in trees (Spawls et al. 2002); however, most records appear to be from higher into the canopy where it is thought to rely on small branches as perches (S. Ash, unpub. data). In captivity females laid clutches of 5 eggs between September and October (Spawls et al. 2002). The extent to which this lizard can tolerate habitat disturbance is unknown, however, records exist from cashew plantations near Watamu (Spawls et al. 2002). Cashew plantations are a thick, closed-canopy habitat with little understorey, but even in this habitat it has been rarely recorded (P. Malonza pers. comm. 2014).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not targeted for trade; individuals are collected opportunistically when encountered during tree-felling operations for display in local snake farms (J. Beraduccii pers. comm. 2014), but there is no international trade and no quotas exist.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Coastal forest is rapidly disappearing within this species' range, and is thought likely to represent a threat to the lizard (Spawls et al. 2002). While it has been recorded from cashew plantations, it is thought to require continuous tree cover (S. Spawls pers. comm. 2014). Expanding human populations along the fertile East African coast, and associated agricultural development, are the major threats to forest in this region (S. Spawls and P. Malonza pers. comm. 2014). Much of the species' coastal distribution is, however, within well-protected areas (S. Spawls and P. Malonza pers. comm. 2014), and its largest distribution centre is inland in the Nguru Mountains.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is found in several well-protected national parks, including Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Amani and Zaraninge Forest. More information is required on this species' ecological requirements and population status.

Citation: Spawls, S., Malonza, P., Msuya, C.A. & Beraduccii, J. 2015. Gastropholis prasina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13151906A13151910. . Downloaded on 28 June 2017.
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