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Typhlops lazelli

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA TYPHLOPIDAE

Scientific Name: Typhlops lazelli
Species Authority: Wallach & Pauwels, 2004
Taxonomic Notes: The two known specimens of Typhlops lazelli were originally attributed to the widespread Ramphotyphlops albiceps (Wallach and Pauwels 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-09-01
Assessor(s): Lau, M.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
Justification:
Although this species is known from only two specimens, intensive surveys have been conducted in the territory and it has not been re-discovered. One of the sites where it was recorded from has been developed and the surrounding forests that may be adequate habitat of this species are under continuous threat from urbanisation. No precise estimate of EOO is possible, but M. Lau (pers. comm. 2011) indicated that less than 100 km2 of suitable forest habitat remains in Hong Kong. The species is therefore listed as Critically Endangered based on its restricted distribution, its presence in one location (as defined by the threat of urbanisation) and the continuous decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is apparently endemic to the main island of Hong Kong, where the known specimens were found among leaf litter in a drainage ditch (Wallach and Pauwels 2004). Its apparent absence from smaller islands in the archipelago may be attributable to the loss of most forest from these islands (Wallach and Pauwels 2004). It occurs at elevations between 100 to 200 m. Although this species was not targeted, territory-wide surveys in the island did not find this species.
Countries:
Native:
Hong Kong
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is known only from two specimens, the first collected in 1988 and the second in 1992 (Wallach and Pauwels 2004). Therefore, no information is available on population. The habitat of one of the known sites has been impacted by development, possibly causing the population to decline.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: One of the known specimens was recovered from leaf litter in a drainage ditch, presumably having been washed down from forested slopes (Wallach and Pauwels 2004). Its apparent absence from other islands within Hong Kong, or from the New Territories of the Chinese mainland, suggests that it may be a forest specialist, since only this island retains substantial areas of native forest (Wallach and Pauwels 2004). As most of Hong Kong's higher elevations are wooded, and forests are protected in order to provide a watershed for the island's reservoirs (Wallach and Pauwels 2002), it is not clear how restricted the species is on this island by its habitat preferences.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of use or trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): One of the sites where the species was collected from was built upon, causing the species to disappear from the area. In addition, the lowland forests surrounding the city are under pressure from development that can potentially have an impact on this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific conservation measures exist to protect this species.  The known localities of this species are not in protected areas. Surveys are needed to better determine its distribution as well as its population status. If the species is rediscovered, protected areas should be established to ensure its viability and long-term persistence.

Citation: Lau, M. 2012. Typhlops lazelli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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