Goniurosaurus kuroiwae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Eublepharidae

Scientific Name: Goniurosaurus kuroiwae (Namiye, 1912)
Common Name(s):
English Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko, Ryuku Eyelid Gecko, Tokashiki Gecko
Eublepharis kuroiwae (Namiye, 1912) — Wermuth 1965
Gymnodactylus albofasciatus ssp. kuroiwae Namiye, 1912
Taxonomic Notes: Honda et al. (2014) revised Japanese members of Goniurosaurus, previously considered either the full species G. kuroiwae, G. toyami, G. yamashinae, G. orientalis and G. splendens, or a single taxon G. kuroiwae with five subspecies. These authors' results supported the recognition of two full species, G. splendens and G. kuroiwae, and they proposed treating G. orientalis, G. toyami and G. yamashinae as subspecies of G. kuroiwae.

Further molecular research into this species complex is ongoing, and has confirmed that there are at least five species-level clades in the Ryukyus, corresponding to subspecies of G. kuroiwae recognized by Honda et al. (2014) plus G. splendens (H. Ota pers. comm. 2016). As a revision of this group is due to be submitted for publication shortly, this account adopts a traditional five-species treatment of this complex, while recognizing that both G. kuroiwae and G. orientalis as presently recognized may be further subdivided in the near future.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-12-13
Assessor(s): Kidera, N. & Ota, H.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Powney, G.

Goniurosaurus kuroiwae is restricted to four islands, each treated here as a single location defined by a widespread threat from predation by invasive species, with a total combined area (treated here as the maximum area of occupancy) below 1,300 km². and it is also likely to be impacted by habitat degradation resulting in a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Goniurosaurus kuroiwae is endemic to Okinawajima and three adjacent islands (Kourijima, Sesokojima and Yagajijima) of the Okinawa Group, the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan (Toda 2014).

Countries occurrence:
Japan (Nansei-shoto)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1223
Upper elevation limit (metres):450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is uncommon. In Sesokojima it is now hardly found, and it is likely to have suffered severe declines. Also, in central and southern part of Okinawajima and Kourijima, it is likely to  decline due to habitat loss and changes (Toda 2014). 

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species inhabits the leaf litter of subtropical forests in karst limestone areas (Dial and Grismer 1992). It chiefly preys on small invertebrates at night on the ground surface by switching motive and passive (ambushing) foraging tactics (Werner et al. 2004, 2006). Each adult female lays one to three clutches per breeding season (from late May to early August), and each clutch consists of no more than two eggs (H. Ota pers. comm. 2010). Hatchlings, appearing from late August to early October, usually become mature in the late breeding season of the next year or in the early breeding season in two years later (Tanaka and Nishihira 1987, 1989; H. Ota pers. comm. 2010).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is likely to have been collected by illegal pet traders on Okinawajima, but it is unknown whether this activity is currently ongoing.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is threatened by human activities including deforestation, land development and road construction causing habitat loss and fragmentation (Ota 2000, Toda 2014). Large areas of the native subtropical forest on the Ryukyu Islands was cleared and converted for agriculture, and habitat degradation took place during World War II (Watanabe et al. 2005). The species is also threatened by predation by introduced carnivores, such as the mongoose (on Okinawajima), and domestic and feral cats. In addition, it has also been collected by illegal pet traders (Toda 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is assigned as a natural monument in Okinawa Prefecture. Capture is forbidden (Toda 2014). Its distribution range includes national parks in Okinawajima Island, although there is clearly a need for improved protection of forest habitats in the island.

Citation: Kidera, N. & Ota, H. 2017. Goniurosaurus kuroiwae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T98152257A96877452. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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