Pholidoscelis corax 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Teiidae

Scientific Name: Pholidoscelis corax (Censky & Paulson, 1992)
Common Name(s):
English Censky's Ameiva, Anguilla Black Ameiva, Little Scrub Island Ground Lizard
Ameiva corax Censky & Paulson, 1992
Taxonomic Source(s): Harvey, M.B., Ugueto, G.N. and Gutberlet Jr., R.L. 2012. Review of Teiid morphology with a revised taxonomy and phylogeny of the Teiidae (Lepidosauria: Squamata). Zootaxa 3459: 1-156.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-07-23
Assessor(s): Powell, R. & Daltry, J.C.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B., Hanson, S., De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Listed as Endangered on the basis that this species has a population of mature adults estimated to be close to or below 250 individuals. In addition the species is dependent on an extremely limited area of suitable habitat that renders it especially vulnerable to future development and the possible introduction of invasive mammals. Research is needed to clarify the extent of seasonal fluctuations in this population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Little Scrub Island (White et al. 2002) off the northeastern tip of Anguilla. The island has a total area of around 0.049 km², less than half of which is habitable (Hodge et al. 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:White et al. (2002) described the species as "quite common" in certain areas of the island and as "less common" in others. Animals are relatively abundant where vegetation is present, however vegetation is seasonal and found on only around a third of the island (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). Vegetation is also sporadically lost during hurricane events. Seabird populations represent an important periodic source of food for this species, however seabird numbers are relatively low and declining throughout the region (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). It is likely that the population of this species is subject to significant seasonal fluctuations, but no research on its population status exists (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). Given the island's small area, and the limited suitable habitat, Censky (1996) estimated a total population of 700, while Hodge (2000) reported a total population below 500. A total population estimate of between 428 and 512 was provided by Hodge (2011) based on mark-recapture studies conducted in 2010. About half of these animals are likely to be mature adults.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:249
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits dry scrublands. It is quite common in cactus-dominated vegetation and in the rocky area near a sand patch on the leeward side, but less common in other areas (White et al. 2002). This species' distribution is food-limited. The lizards are known to climb cacti to eat the fruits and to scavenge fish from seabirds nesting and roosting on the island, and to prey on bird eggs (Censky and Powell 2001).

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little Scrub Island is not likely to be developed, however if Scrub Island is developed for tourism as currently planned boat traffic may increase to the island, and with it both disturbance and the possibility that mice or rats will be introduced; given the limited available food and likely predation on the lizards themselves from exotic mammals, such an introduction would almost certainty threaten the population of this lizard. The very small size of the habitable area on the island renders the population of these lizards vulnerable to stochastic events (e.g, hurricanes). Smith et al. (2005) have noted an increased frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Basin, especially since 1995. Future climate change impacts of increased storm activity and sea level rise may pose further threats, but these are are not imminent, are highly uncertain and are unlikely to lead to very rapid population declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Monitoring of the population numbers of this species is ongoing because of its restricted distribution to Little Scrub Island.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: This species was previously treated on the Red List under the genus Ameiva, but it is now placed under Pholidoscelis following Goicoechea et al. (2016), hence the need for this amended assessment.

Citation: Powell, R. & Daltry, J.C. 2017. Pholidoscelis corax (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T174138A121639783. . Downloaded on 23 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided