Alsophylax laevis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae

Scientific Name: Alsophylax laevis Nikolsky, 1907
Common Name(s):
English Southern Even-fingered Gecko
Taxonomic Source(s): Bauer, A.M., Masroor, R., Titus-McQuillan, J., Heinicke, M.P., Daza, J.D. and Jackman, T.R. 2013. A preliminary phylogeny of the Palearctic naked-toed geckos (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae) with taxonomic implications. Zootaxa 3599(4): 301-324.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2abc ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Ananjeva, N.B. & Orlov, N.L.
Reviewer(s): Neil Cox and Helen Temple
This species is assessed as Critically Endangered on the basis of a historical population crash that, while not precisely quantifiable, undoubtedly far exceeds 90% since 1986, with encounter rates having fallen from one animal per 5-8 hectare to as few as four individuals throughout its range over a decade of active survey work, although differences in measurements between historical surveys make population data difficult to determine. Recent rates of decline cannot be quantified due to the extremely low numbers of individuals recorded in the past 20 years, however, over, 50% of its remaining habitat has been lost in this period and it is thought that rates of decline are likely to be similar to those reported between 1979 and 1986. Pressures are ongoing and there is no reason to expect that declines have ceased; it is also thought that the species' distributional extent is shrinking although, again, the scarcity of records makes it impossible to determine which localities have been lost.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is present in central and southern Uzbekistan (Szczerbak and Golubev 1996) and in Turkmenistan. Ananjeva et al. (2006) suggest that it might also occur in Iran, but the species does not appear to be present in this country (S. C. Anderson pers. comm. 2008). Its distribution appears to be somewhat sporadic (Anajeva et al. 2006), being endemic to the "broken stone district" within its range (Sindaco and JeremĨenko 2008). The species has been collected between 200 and 250 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):250
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:High population densities have been recorded in Uzbekistan; based on an encounter rate of one individual every 5-8 m in a 500 x 200 m plot, Szczerbak and Golubev (1996) estimated that a minimum of 1,600 animals occurred in the vicinity of the Kuldjuktau Crest in 1979. Seven to twelve animals per kilometre were recorded by Shammakov (1981), based on data collected in 1979. Comparing literature reports with the results of extensive surveys over 12 years in Turkmenistan, where many areas recorded only isolated individuals in areas where animals were historically reported to be common, Szczerbak and Golubev (1996) conclude that the species is undergoing a progressive decline in numbers and that its distribution is shrinking. This work is a translation of a Russian-language book published in 1986, indicating that the reported declines may have taken place over as few as five years. Only a few specimens (3 in Turkmenistan and 1 in Uzbekistan - the latter in 2012, the most recent from Turkmenistan in 2013) have been collected in the past decade (R. Nazarov and A. Shestopal unpubl. data) despite intensive survey effort.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species typically occurs in bare, flat clay areas almost free from vegetation in the sand desert zone (takyrs) and is present in foothills (Szczerbak and Golubev 1996; N. Ananjeva and N. Orlov pers. comm. 2008). It is tolerant of the saline conditions of clay desert in the Kyzylkums, although absent from saline patches in Turkmenistan (Szczerbak and Golubev 1996). The species seems to lay several clutches of one or two eggs.
Generation Length (years):2

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use or trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is experiencing significant habitat loss through ploughing and irrigation of takyr habitat for crop cultivation (Szczerbak and Golubev 1996). Its type locality no longer exists, having been inundated by the creation of a dam (Szczerbak and Golubev 1996). More than half of its historical habitat has been lost in both countries over the past 20-30 years (A. Shestopal and R. Nazarov pers. comm. 2016).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed in threatened categories in the Red Data Books of the USSR (1984), Turkmenistan (1985, 1999, 2011) and Uzbekistan (2003, 2009). Ananjeva et al. (2006) propose the creation of a special reserve in the southeast of the Smaller Balkhan to benefit this species, and additional lowland reserves are required to preserve remaining habitat. Captive breeding is recommended if individuals are found in sufficient numbers to permit this without the loss of remaining natural subpopulations.

Citation: Ananjeva, N.B. & Orlov, N.L. 2017. Alsophylax laevis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T164598A1060504. . Downloaded on 19 November 2017.
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