Ablepharus deserti 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Ablepharus deserti Strauch, 1868
Common Name(s):
English Desert Lidless Skink
Ablepharus tenuis Nikolsky, 1915
Ablepharus turkestanicus Ahl, 1925

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-04-07
Assessor(s): Anderson, S., Milto, K., Shestopal, A., Dujsebayeva, T., Nuridjanov, D., Golynsky, E., Borkin, L. & Sattorov, T.
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.
Ablepharus deserti has been assessed as Least Concern owing to its wide distribution across the drylands of central Asia. No specific threats have been reported across the range as a whole and this species is not undergoing significant population declines. The Fergana subpopulation in Tajikistan is at high risk from habitat loss and would benefit from special protection along with a number of reptiles endemic to this valley.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species inhabits southern Kazakhstan (with isolated records in the country's west along the east bank of the Caspian Sea - Dujsebayeva 2015), Kyrgyzstan, northern Tajikistan, east Turkmenistan (with an isolated population in Merv Oasis) and Uzbekistan (Bobrov 2005). It has been observed on eastern and western slopes at elevations between 1,200 and 1,500 m above sea level (Kolbintzev et al. 1999); it can however be found up to 2,400 m, and has been recorded from as low as 1,000 m asl. in Tajikistan (T. Sattorov pers. comm. 2016). The westernmost Kazakh locality, Aqtau, may represent an introduction (Pestov 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1000
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In Kazakhstan a range of 6-80 animals per hectare (mean 30) has been reported. A similar mean number of individuals per hectare has been recorded for Kyrgyzstan, and densities are presumably similar in Uzbekistan (T. Dujsebaveya et al. 2016). The species is in decline in the Fergana Valley in Tajikistan, where it was formerly widespread around in mesic habitats (T. Sattorov pers. comm. 2016). Recorded densities along a 100 m transect have declined from 17 individuals in the 1980s to as few to 3-4 in 2013 (T. Sattorov pers. comm. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits desert areas including oases, and foothills and tugay (floodplain forest) (Bobrov 2005). At 2,000 m above sea level, it is known to live on dry-south exposed slopes with xerophytic steppe characterized by Ferula, Rosa, honeysuckle (Lonicera), Cotoneaster, and Spirea. In the Ferghana Valley it is restricted to well-watered habitats such as oases, gardens, orchards and ditches. Where it survives in the Tajik portion of the valley, it is found only in densely-vegetated gardens (T. Sattorov pers. comm. 2016). This species is diurnal and oviparous, with observed clutch sizes between 1-11 eggs (Kolbintzev et al. 1999; T. Dujsebayeva pers. comm. 2016 reports 2-8 as typical).

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is unlikely that any major threat is impacting this species in most of its range. In the Fergana Valley it is heavily impacted by extensive human development, driven largely at present by livestock grazing and historically by conversion for cotton cultivation. Almost no natural habitat remains in the valley, in which no protected areas exist, and observed population densities have declined by 75-90% since the 1980s.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place, or needed for this species as a whole. It is found in many protected areas in countries of Central Asia. It is included in the Red Data Book in Tajikistan (2015), where it is in need of special protection. Species endemic to the Ferghana Valley are listed as globally Vulnerable, and the Tajik subpopulation should be considered at comparable risk of extinction.

Citation: Anderson, S., Milto, K., Shestopal, A., Dujsebayeva, T., Nuridjanov, D., Golynsky, E., Borkin, L. & Sattorov, T. 2017. Ablepharus deserti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T178546A85035208. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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