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Ameiva corvina

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA TEIIDAE

Scientific Name: Ameiva corvina
Species Authority: Cope, 1861
Common Name/s:
English Sombrero Ameiva

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor/s: Powell, R. & Mayer, G.C.
Reviewer/s: Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor/s: De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Justification:
Ameiva corvina  has been assessed as Vulnerable D2. This species is restricted to an island which has an area of 0.366 km². In addition to this, Sombrero cay is frequently affected by tropical hurricanes. These storms can cause large fluctuations in the population of this species, and further reduce suitable habitat. Although this species has evolved in the presence of tropical hurricanes, it is possible with increased intensity of tropical hurricanes and sea level rise, as a result of climate change in the future, could lead to this species becoming Critically Endangered or Extinct in a short period of time. Monitoring of population numbers is recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Sombrero Island (Schwartz and Henderson 1991, Lazell 1964) of the Lesser Antilles.

Sombrero cay, 32 miles northwest of Anguilla, forms the northern limit of land in the Lesser Antilles (Lazell 1964). It is 0.75 mile (1.21 km) long and 400 yards (0.37 km) wide at the widest section, oriented north-south. The area of the cay is approximately 0.366 km².
Countries:
Native:
Anguilla
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species has been described as abundant throughout the island (Layzell 1964), and as "quite common" around the lighthouse and in areas where vegetation occurs (Shew et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is xerophilic and diurnal. It is ground-dwelling, however, it will climb pit walls for bird eggs and for basking sites (Lazell 1964). This species eats the eggs of ground-nesting birds (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

Sombrero Island is presumed to be of volcanic origin, however, it is capped with oceanic limestone (Lazell 1964). Vegetation cover is extremely sparse and consists of a few clumps of cactus, ground-trailing herbaceous plants, and small weeds. The habitat is at least seasonally food-limited. No amphibians or mammals occur on the island; however, large colonies of nesting sea birds are present. The species occurs alongside two other known reptile species, Anolis gingivinus and an undescribed Sphaerodactylus (Hodge et al. 2003 in press).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is unlikely that the species is being impacted by any direct major threats at present as there is no permanent human settlement on Sombrero. The British government had maintained a lighthouse there from about the 1860s, due to its position at the mouth of the Anegada Passage; however, it was swept away by a hurricane in 1960. A new lighthouse had been built (Lazell 1964), but this has now been decommissioned and human presence on the island is sporadic.

While this species has been able to withstand the island being briefly flooded by a hurricane, it is unlikely it would survive complete permanent inundation due to sea level rise. However, although sea level rise may pose a threat in the future, this is not an imminent threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for the species. Monitoring of the population numbers of this species is needed, because of its restricted distribution.
Citation: Powell, R. & Mayer, G.C. 2010. Ameiva corvina. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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