Uroplatus finiavana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae

Scientific Name: Uroplatus finiavana Ratsoavina, Louis Jr., Crottini, Randrianiana, Glaw & Vences, 2011
Taxonomic Source(s): Ratsoavina, F.M., Louis Jr., E.E., Crottini, A., Randrianiana, R.-D., Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2011. A new leaf tailed gecko species from northern Madagascar with a preliminary assessment of molecular and morphological variability in the Uroplatus ebenaui group. Zootaxa 3022: 39-57.
Taxonomic Notes: A small Uroplatus from Montagne d'Ambre has long been recognized as likely to be distinct from U. ebenaui based on morphological differences (Glaw and Vences 1994), and molecular evidence has supported this view (Greenbaum et al. 2007, Raxworthy et al. 2008). Ratsoavina et al. (2011) investigated the status of "U. ebenaui" in the national park, finding additional molecular evidence for the specific status of the atypical form, and formally described it as a new species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-03-12
Assessor(s): Bowles, P.
Reviewer(s): Glaw, F. & Crottini, A.
Listed as Near Threatened on the basis that this species is known from a single location where it has an extent of occurrence of 182 km², and there is continuing encroachment of various human activities into forest at the periphery of Montagne d'Ambre, making it close to qualifying as Vulnerable under criterion D2. Montagne d'Ambre is presently well-managed as a protected area and this species is widespread and common within the reserve, making it unlikely that the species is at imminent risk of extinction, however, there is a plausible future threat from human encroachment into the park that, if it became operational, would require listing this lizard as Endangered applying criterion B1ab(iii).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This gecko is endemic to Madagascar, where it is widespread within Montagne d'Ambre National Park, and has also been reported from secondary forest fragments near the adjacent town of Joffreville (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). It is likely also to occur in the nearby Forêt d'Ambre, from where it was reported by D'Cruze et al. (2008), but further investigation is required to clarify that this record is attributable to U. finiavana rather than U. ebenaui (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). Further work is required to clarify whether any records of U. ebenaui from other forest blocks in northern Madagascar, including Anjanaharibe-Sud, Manongarivo, Marojejy, Tsaratanana and Makira, refer to U. finiavana (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). A number of reptiles are, however, known to be endemic to Montagne d'Ambre, and it may well be that this species is genuinely confined to this forest. It has been recorded between 700 and 1,300 m asl. in Montagne d'Ambre. The park has an area of 182 km² (Nicoll and Langrand 1989), which is provisionally taken to be this lizard's extent of occurrence.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):1300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The original description indicates that this lizard is "remarkably common within the national park", where up to 10 individuals can be found during night walks at 800-900 m asl. on particular forest trails (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). It was frequently encountered in field surveys prior to its formal description, having been recorded in surveys of the park conducted in 1994, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009 (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). Although detectability is influenced by weather conditions that may differ between surveys, F. Glaw (pers. comm. March 2012) reports that there appears to be no evidence of any change in abundance since its original detection in 1994.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been recorded both in primary forest within Montagne d'Ambre and in secondary forest at the park edge, just outside the protected area (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). In the latter habitat, it was only observed in 2009 and only in areas without much degraded vegetation (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). It is nocturnal and arboreal and feeds on arthropods, with one individual having been observed eating a cockroach (Ratsoavina et al. 2011). It is most common at elevations between 800 and 900 m asl. Unusually, most individuals encountered do not have original or regrown tails (Ratsoavina et al. 2011; F. Glaw pers. comm. March 2012). At the lower limit of its elevational range (around 700 m) it occurs together with U. ebenaui, with no genetic evidence of hybridization between these forms (Ratsoavina et al. 2011).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This recently-described species is not thought to be collected for trade at present, however, it was found in small numbers in the European pet trade in small numbers, and is apparently still bred in captivity (F. Glaw pers. comm. March 2012).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species, which is thought to have "a rather high short-term probability of survival" due to its wide distribution within a currently well-managed protected area (Ratsoavina et al. 2011), but Montagne d'Ambre is under immediate future threat of several activities expanding into the park, including logging (charcoal), cattle grazing, agricultural clearance for rice production, and rosewood collection (N. D'Cruze and L. Durkin pers. comms. January 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is essentially confined to Montagne d'Ambre National Park, which is presently well-managed, although Madagascar is a very poor country with a volatile political situation, and as such no protected area can be guaranteed to offer long-term protection. Research is needed to clarify the identity of records of U. ebenaui from other forest blocks in northern Madagascar to establish whether this U. finiavana is genuinely endemic to this reserve. This species is included on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Bowles, P. 2012. Uroplatus finiavana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T14665504A14665550. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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