Gallotia auaritae 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Gallotia auaritae Mateo, García Márquez, López Jurado & Barahona, 2001
Common Name(s):
English La Palma Giant Lizard
Gallotia simonyi ssp. auaritae Mateo, García Márquez, López Jurado & Barahona, 2001
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon was originally described as a subspecies of Gallotia simonyi by Mateo et al. (2001), but we follow Afonso and Mateo (2003) in treating it as a full species. There is an urgent need to establish the identity of recently observed animals in northern La Palma (Mínguez et al. 2007) which might represent a remnant population of this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Iñigo Martínez-Solano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Listed as Critically Endangered because any remnant population possibly totals fewer than 50 mature individuals. It is also possible that this species will qualify for the C2a(i) criteria, however additional studies are needed into the total population number and current population trend.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This possibly extinct species once ranged from sea-level up to 800m asl in the littoral zone of La Palma in the Canary Islands (Spain). Its decline started 2,000 years ago with the arrival of humans on La Palma. Although it was believed to have become extinct in the last 500 years, there are recent sightings and photographs of giant Gallotia lizards from northern La Palma (Mínguez et al. 2007; (Jose Antonio Mateo Miras pers. comm. 2008). While the identity of these lizards needs to be verified through the capture of an individual, it is probable that there has only ever been a single species of large Gallotia on La Palma (Barahona et al. 2000; Mateo et al. 2003; Jose Antonio Mateo Miras pers. comm. 2008). Recent observations have been between 40 and 200m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:While this species is possibly extinct, recent observations suggest that a small remnant population of these lizards is present in northern La Palma (Mínguez et al. 2007, Jose Antonio Mateo Miras pers. comm. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It apparently previously occurred through the littoral zone of La Palma, living in xerophytic vegetation. It is presumably an egg-laying species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The causes of extinction over much of this species range appear to have been introduced cats, consumption by people, and conversion of land to agricultural use. The current threats to any remaining populations need further investigation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known if the species is present in any protected areas. There is a need to verify the identity of animals recently observed; if these are not individual of Gallotia auaritae, it remains probable that these populations will still be of very high conservation concern. There is an urgent need to secure any remaining populations of giant Gallotia lizards on La Palma, including strict protect of areas of suitable habitat and prevention of collection of animals for non-research purposes.

Citation: Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Iñigo Martínez-Solano. 2009. Gallotia auaritae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T61501A12492629. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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