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Lygodactylus mirabilis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA GEKKONIDAE

Scientific Name: Lygodactylus mirabilis
Species Authority: (Pasteur, 1962)
Synonym(s):
Millotisaurus mirabilis Pasteur, 1962

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-27
Assessor(s): Randrianantoandro, J.C. & Vences, M.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Hilton-Taylor, C.
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered on the basis that it has an extent of occurrence of 27 km², it occurs at a single location, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat resulting from the increased frequency and intensity of fires.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to Madagascar. It is only known from sites between 2,000 and 2,643 m asl on a few peaks in the Ankaratra massif, in the central highlands (Puente et al. 2009). This lizard has a presumed extent of occurrence of 27 km².

Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a very local species, but can be very common in sunny spots. Due to its localized occurrence within its small range the population trend is unclear; however, a recent survey on Tsiafajavona, where the habitat is badly damaged by fire, recorded only a single individual (J.C. Randrianantoandro pers. comm. May 2011).  This survey followed particularly widespread fires at this site, which have increased in intensity since September 2010. Previous visits found the species to be more abundant at this locality (J.C. Randrianantoandro pers. comm. May 2011)
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The species lives in montane grassland with some ericoid bushes, where it is found on and around small rocks (Puente et al. 2009; J.C. Randrianantoandro pers. comm. May 2011). It appears to reproduce both in the dry and wet seasons: the small unglued eggs are laid into the substrate and can be found under stones. This species has a short generation time, with population turnover every one or two years.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no information to suggest that this species is traded or used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species remains common in areas with a long history of annual burning, but the increasing intensity of fires within Ankaratra may represent a threat to this species. The effects on this rock-dwelling lizard are unclear, although the scarcity of this lizard in a recent survey of fire-damaged habitat on the massif (J.C. Randranantoandro pers. comm. May 2011) suggests it may be intolerant of this disturbance, particularly as its rocky habitat occurs as scattered patches within a large area of montane grassland (J.C. Randrianantoandro pers. comm. May 2011). The short life cycle of this species may render it vulnerable to intense threats that, although they may act over short time periods, may limit or prevent reproduction in the year the threat occurs. Land clearance for growing potatoes may also threaten this species if climate change makes this area suitable for agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Ankaratra massif is not yet formally protected but efforts are underway to establish habitat conservation management at the site. Research is needed to establish the extent to which fire represents a threat to this species, and monitoring is needed to obtain information on population dynamics.

Citation: Randrianantoandro, J.C. & Vences, M. 2011. Lygodactylus mirabilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 October 2014.
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