Tetradactylus breyeri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gerrhosauridae

Scientific Name: Tetradactylus breyeri Roux, 1907
Common Name(s):
English Breyer's Long-tailed Seps
Taxonomic Notes: A specimen collected in the Free State was considered by De Waal (1978) to be representative of a new subspecies. Bates (1996) examined all available museum material of this species - including additional specimens from the Free State, and concluded that Tetradactylus breyeri is a monotypic species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2013-05-16
Assessor(s): Bates, M.F.
Reviewer(s): Bauer, A.
Inferred population reduction of over 30% in the last 18 years (three generations) due to transformation of grasslands where the causes of reduction may not have ceased, based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and habitat quality [A2c]; these declines are considered likely to continue into the future. Large parts of this species' habitat have been transformed for crop farming, heavy grazing of remaining areas has further reduced available sheltering sites, and further habitat destruction occurs when farmers frequently burn grasslands to produce green forage for livestock (Jacobsen 1988). Farming practices have almost certainly fragmented the range of this species, preventing genetic exchange between populations. This is clearly evident when examining Google Earth images which indicate extensive transformation of grassland habitat for crop farming in many areas, e.g. the northeastern Free State.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to the South African provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Mpumalanga. The new Blyde River Canyon locality (2430DB) represents the northernmost extension of the range. This species is known from only 16 museum specimens (see Bates 1996) one sight record at 2529DA (Jacobsen 1989) and two Virtual Museum records (2430DD, 2829BA).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:5136Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:101250
Number of Locations:6
Lower elevation limit (metres):1400
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information on population size is currently available.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:6
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Found in montane and Highveld grasslands of the Grassland Biome at altitudes of 1,400-2,000 m (Bates 1996). May take shelter on soil under stones or in moribund termitaria (Jacobsen 1989).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threatened by tranformation of land for crops (especially in the area of the northern Free State subpopulation, see Rouget et al. 2006), timber plantations (especially the central KwaZulu-Natal and northern Mpumalanga populations, see Rouget et al. 2006), overgrazing by livestock causing depletion of sheltering sites and insect prey, infrastructure development in some areas, frequent fires and the use of pesticides. Jacobsen (1988, 1989) also noted the negative effects of cultivation, heavy grazing, regular anthropogenic fires and afforestation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Draft a Species Management Plan (BMP-S). Communicate with farmers and other locals and educate them about this species. Warn against the burning of grasslands, and encourage and monitor controlled fire management. Investigate population numbers and exact ranges, biology and ecology, status of available habitat, and threats. Monitor population trends, paying special attention to the extent of mortalities as a result of fires. Identify and establish more protected areas. Conduct further surveys that specifically aim to locate this species. Encourage farmers to provide corridors of suitable natural grassland between croplands and dissuade them from overgrazing cattle and small livestock.

Citation: Bates, M.F. 2017. Tetradactylus breyeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T21662A110328821. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
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