Celestus warreni 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Anguidae

Scientific Name: Celestus warreni (Schwartz, 1970)
Common Name(s):
English Giant Hispaniolan Galliwasp
Celestus carraui (Inchaústegui, Schwartz & Henderson, 1985)
Diploglossus carraui Inchaústegui, Schwartz & Henderson, 1985
Diploglossus warreni Schwartz, 1970
Taxonomic Notes: Powell and Henderson (2003) synonymized C. carraui as a synonym with C. w. warreni and rejected its recognition as a subspecies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-07-21
Assessor(s): Landestoy, M., Inchaustegui, S. & Powell, R.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hanson, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
This species is listed as Vulnerable due to its limited distribution (with an extent of occurrence of 14,646 km2), fragmented subpopulations and ongoing threats include expanding agricultural activities, charcoal production, predation by cats, dogs and mongooses, it is killed by local people who mistakenly consider these lizards to be venomous, and it is on the illegal pet trade  that continues to decline its extent of occurrence, and quality of habitat, and it is only found in a small protected area.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to mainland Hispaniola (northern Haiti and northern Dominican Republic) and the offshore Ile de la Tortue. It occurs up to 702 m asl (M. Landestoy and S. Incháustegui pers. comm. 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Dominican Republic; Haiti
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):45
Upper elevation limit (metres):702
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It appears that the subpopulations in the Dominican Republic (formerly recognized as a separate species Celestus carraui) have almost been lost. The last collection and sightings were in 2014 in the Puerto Plata area (R. Powell pers. comm. 2014)  and in San Francisco de Macoris province, a new locality record extending the species' distribution (S. Inchaustegui pers. comm. 2015). but there are occasional reports of sightings made by local people (S.J. Incháustegui pers. comm. 2015). In Haiti, the species is known with confidence from only a single locality despite intensive surveys, and is considered very rare here (S.B. Hedges pers. comm. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is presumed to be a burrowing species that occurs in mesic lowland broadleaf forest, dry forest, banana groves and cacao plantations (Henderson and Powell 2009). The captive longevity record is 11 years., but this was taken at a time when the captive husbandry requirements for these species were poorly understood. Based on captive specimens it appears that sexual maturity is reached at 3–4 years of age. A conservative estimate of generation time based on the known captive longevity record and age of sexual maturity would be 7 years. However, it is probable that once more data is collected this figure will be significantly larger. McGinnity (pers. comm. 2003) believes these animals are long lived (25–30 years, maybe longer), but that this may not be established for a very long time.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species has been reported in the illegal pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by loss of habitat, especially deforestation for agricultural activities (planting crops and creating pastures). This species is killed by local people who mistakenly consider these lizards to be venomous (the species reportedly has significance in the Voodoo religion). Lizards are also killed by dogs, cats and mongooses. The introduction and spread of the mongoose in Hispaniola, combined with habitat alteration, are most likely the proximate causes for the recent precipitous decline in giant species of Celestus (Powell and Henderson 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Law 64-00, General Law on Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic establishes general protection for all its biodiversity, under articles 138 and 140. Article 139 gives protected status to all species considered endangered. Presidential Decree 801-02 reconfirms this protection for all wild reptile species and other taxa of the Dominican Republic.

Field surveys are required to determine the remaining population size and distribution, so that a species recovery and management plan can be put in place. Animals are being successfully captive bred at Nashville Zoo (McGinnity 2002). This captive breeding program should be intensified or increased.

It is found in Loma Isabel de Torres Protected Area, a very small protected area.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Landestoy, M., Inchaustegui, S. & Powell, R. 2016. Celestus warreni (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T39260A115172613. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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