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Vhembelacerta rupicola 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Vhembelacerta rupicola (FitzSimons, 1933)
Common Name(s):
English Soutpansberg Rock Lizard
Synonym(s):
Australolacerta rupicola (FitzSimons, 1933)
Lacerta rupicola FitzSimons, 1933
Taxonomic Source(s): Edwards, S., Branch, W.R., Vanhooydonck, B., Herrel, A., Measey, G.J. and Tolley, K.A. 2013. Taxonomic adjustments in the systematics of southern African lacertid lizards (Sauria: Lacertidae). Zootaxa 3669(2): 101-114.
Taxonomic Notes: An analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data indicated that Australolacerta rupicola should be placed in a separate genus, Vhembelacerta (Edwards et al. 2012).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2013-05-16
Assessor(s): Turner, A.A.
Reviewer(s): Bates, M.F.
Justification:
Both the extent of occurrence (EOO = 2,570 km2) and area of occupancy (AOO = 1,216 km2) are below the Vulnerable thresholds and a decline in the quantity and quality of suitable habitat due to future land-use changes is predicted [B1b(ii,iii)+2b(ii,iii)]. However, it is not known to what extent the existing populations are fragmented or how many locations exist. The species is therefore considered Near Threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Limpopo, South Africa. Occurs widely throughout the Soutpansberg mountain range (Jacobsen 1988, Branch 1998).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
South Africa (Limpopo Province)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1216Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2570
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Lower elevation limit (metres):800
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information on population size or trend is currently available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs on rocky outcrops, scree slopes and bedrock (Jacobsen 1988) in wooded savanna and forest fringes on mountain slopes. Found mainly at the edge of Soutpansberg Mountain Bushveld or mistbelt forest with rocky outcrops on southern and southeastern slopes at altitudes of 800–1,600 m (Kirchhof and Richter 2009). Forages in leaf litter and seeks refuge in rock cracks at night (Kirchhof et al. 2010).
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):2-3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Not known to be utilized in any way.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Large-scale timber plantations are the main threat. However, this lizard is able to survive in areas that are too arid for plantations and this reduces the severity of the threat. The increasing demand for indigenous trees as a fuel source may reduce the amount and quality of habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Perform a detailed survey of the Soutpansberg mountain range, to accurately determine the extent of occurrence. Not known to occur in any formally protected areas, but does occur at Lajuma Private Nature Reserve where it receives some protection. Therefore, establish secure protected areas that include the range of the species.

Citation: Turner, A.A. 2017. Vhembelacerta rupicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T41227A110303892. . Downloaded on 19 November 2017.
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