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Phelsuma hielscheri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA GEKKONIDAE

Scientific Name: Phelsuma hielscheri
Species Authority: Rösler, Obst & Seipp, 2001

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-28
Assessor(s): Raxworthy, C.J., Ratsoavina, F., Glaw, F., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotondrazafy, N.A. & Bora, P.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable on the basis that it has a known extent of occurrence of around 8,700 km², it occurs as a severely fragmented population, and although it is found in both natural and anthropogenic settings, there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of the Pandanus microhabitats on which it relies.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to Madagascar, where it known from a few sites in the centre and west of the island at Morondava, Isalo, Belo-sur-Mer and Kirindy (Glaw and Vences 2007), and Makay (N.A. Rakotondrazafy and C. Raxworthy pers. comms. January 2011). It occurs between sea level and 900 m asl.

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

Population [top]

Population: Local population densities are likely to be strongly dependent on the availability of the screw palms (Pandanus) on which this gecko depends, and it is reportedly rather common in these plants in the small town of Ranohira near Isalo National Park (Glaw and Vences 2007). it appears to be uncommon at Makay, however, despite the abundance of screw palms (N.A. Rakotrondrazafy and C. Raxworthy pers. comms. January 2011). The population is likely to be both declining and severely fragmented as a result of increased human pressure on its host plants.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This day gecko is strongly associated with screw palms and, in sandy areas near Kirindy and Belo-sur-Mer, coastal palms in villages. In Isalo and Makay, it inhabits small screw palms in an urban setting (Glaw and Vences 2007) and along small streams. It is likely to use these plants both outside and within the remaining forest.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Human population densities in this species' range are increasing as a result of sapphire mining. This has resulted in increased pressure on Pandanus screw palms, which are exploited for fibres and construction materials. As this gecko is dependent on these plants for its survival in parts of its range, this is likely to represent a major threat. Fire may be a threat in some areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in and and around human settlements, and there are no conservation actions in place to preserve it, although it occurs in the vicinity of protected areas as well as within Isalo National Park (F. Glaw pers. comm. May 2011). More research is needed to establish the extent of this species' distribution, and whether suitable habitat occurs continuously between Kirindy and Isalo.

Citation: Raxworthy, C.J., Ratsoavina, F., Glaw, F., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotondrazafy, N.A. & Bora, P. 2011. Phelsuma hielscheri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 November 2014.
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