Phyllodactylus leei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Phyllodactylidae

Scientific Name: Phyllodactylus leei Cope, 1889
Common Name(s):
English San Cristóbal Island Leaf-toed Gecko, Chatham Leaf-toed Gecko
Spanish Geco de Isla San Cristóbal

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-02-24
Assessor(s): Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. & Márquez, C.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
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. & Gamble, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Listed as Near Threatened on the basis that this species occurs on a single island with an area of around 215 km2, and both major threats from mammal predation and localized competitive exclusion are thought to be ongoing, supported by apparent evidence of decline in urban areas. Nevertheless this species is adaptable and still frequently encountered in natural areas in the western part of San Cristóbal and it is presently unknown whether introduced mammals are significantly affecting the population in natural habitat. Further research into the population status of and threats to this species may suggest that it warrants listing in a threatened category applying criterion B (almost qualifies under B1ab(v)).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only known from San Cristóbal Island in the Galápagos (Cope 1889). It appears not to occur in humid highlands on the island (D. Cisneros-Herdia and C. Márquez pers. obs.)
Countries occurrence:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is frequent to uncommon in both natural and inhabited areas in targeted surveys in the western part of the island (D. Cisneros-Heredia unpubl. data), although it is slightly commoner than the sympatric Phyllodactylus darwinii. 39 males and 43 females were reported in 1992 from an inhabited area in the capital (Olmedo and Cayot 1994). In 2009, at most 25 individuals were found in the same areas investigated by the previous study (D. Cisneros-Heredia unpubl. data). In the former P. leeii was rare in the centre of the town, where the introduced Lygodactylus lugubris was present; in the recent study it was entirely absent from the centre (D. Cisneros-Heredia unpubl. data), although L. lugubris appears to occur at no higher abundance now than in the previous study.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:San Cristóbal Island has a range of habitats from evergreen forest to grassy highlands. This species has been found in rocky areas and under bark on trees across the island (Van Denburgh 1912); in artificial situations it colonizes walls and buildings. This species lays eggs in October and November in rocky areas (Fitter et al. 2000).

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): San Cristóbal is the second most heavily-populated island in the Galápagos, and introduced predators - particularly cats (which have been observed to eat this gecko - D. Cisneros-Heredia pers. obs.), rats and dogs - represent the major threat to this nocturnal species. It appears to have been displaced from the centre of urban areas by the introduced house gecko Lepidodactylus lugubris, although as a larger species than Phyllodactylus darwinii this effect may be less pronounced than in that species. While this is a localized threat, it may be significant if the species is under pressure also in other parts of the island from introduced mammals. No information is available on population trends in natural habitats to determine whether it is declining as a result of predation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is endemic to Galápagos National Park. Surveys are needed to clarify the population status and sensitivity to threats from mammal predation of this gecko, especially in natural areas of San Cristóbal.

Citation: Cisneros-Heredia, D.F. & Márquez, C. 2016. Phyllodactylus leei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T178276A56282962. . Downloaded on 22 January 2018.
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