Uroplatus giganteus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae

Scientific Name: Uroplatus giganteus
Species Authority: Glaw, Kosuch, Henkel, Sound & Böhme, 2006
Taxonomic Notes: There is uncertainty about the number of species represented under the names Uroplatus fimbriatus and U. giganteus (F. Glaw and M. Vences pers. comm. January 2011). Raxworthy et al. (2008) consider U. giganteus to be a synonym for U. fimbriatus; however it has also been argued that additional undescribed species may be revealed within U. giganteus and/or U. fimbriatus by future molecular study (F. Glaw pers. comm. January 2011), and the population of U. cf. giganteus at Marojejy may warrant separate specific status (Greenbaum et al. 2007). The scheme followed here is that of Glaw et al. (2006), which considers this group to consist of two species, U. fimbriatus and U. giganteus, which correspond to the southern and northern clades of U. fimbriatus respectively (Raxworthy et al. 2008; F. Glaw, pers. comm. January 2011). Due to the geographical proximity of the U. fimbriatus type locality, Nosy Mangabe, to genetic U. giganteus, further research is needed to establish whether the assignment U. fimbriatus to the southern clade treated here under that name is valid, or whether this name should instead be applied either to a single species including both presently recognized clades, or to a northern form presently included under the name U. giganteus (C. Raxworthy pers. comm. January 2011).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-28
Assessor(s): Raxworthy, C.J., Ratsoavina, F., Glaw, F. & Rabibisoa, N.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
Listed as Vulnerable on the basis that it has an extent of occurrence of 18,864 km², it occurs as a severely fragmented population, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This leaf-tailed gecko is endemic to northern and northeast Madagascar, where it has been recorded from Montagne d'Ambre and Marojejy in the north and south into the Masoala Peninsula. It is known from elevations between 750 and 900 m, and has an estimated extent of occurrence of 18,864 km².

Countries occurrence:
Lower elevation limit (metres):750
Upper elevation limit (metres):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is local but regularly encountered. It is likely to be declining in Marojejy, and due to the fragmentary distribution of surviving forest habitat in northern Madagascar indicates the population is considered to be severely fragmented.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This, the second largest living gecko species in the world, is known from lowland humid forest in a number of isolated forest fragments. It is not found in dry forest. It has been observed at night on tree trunks at between two and four metres off the ground (Glaw and Vences 2007).

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

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used or traded but it is very similar to U. fimbriatus in appearance, a species that is exported.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The loss and degradation of low elevation humid forest from logging for timber production and land clearance for agriculture is the main threat to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is known to occur in one and may be in as many as four protected areas. More research is needed into the taxonomy of this and related species, as well as population status and trends.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

Bibliography [top]

Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2007. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Third Edition. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Cologne.

Glaw, F., Kosuch, J., Henkel, F.-H., Sound, P. and Bohme, W. 2006. Genetic and morphological variation of the leaf-tailed gecko Uroplatus fimbriatus from Madagascar, with description of a new giant species. Salamandra 42: 129-144.

Greenbaum, E., Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T. R., Vences, M. and Glaw, F. 2007. A phylogeny of the enigmatic Madagascan geckoes of the genus Uroplatus (Squamata: Gekkonidae). Zootaxa 1493: 41-51.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Raselimanana, A.P. 2008. Herpétofaune des forêts sèches malgaches. Malagasy Nature 1: 46-75.

Raxworthy, C.J., Pearson, R.G., Zimkus, B.M., Reddy, S., Deo, A.J., Nussbaum, R.A. and Ingram, C.M. 2008. Continental speciation in Madagascar: contrasting biogeographic patterns of divergence in the Uroplatus leaf-tailed geckos species radiation. Journal of Zoology 275: 423-440.

Citation: Raxworthy, C.J., Ratsoavina, F., Glaw, F. & Rabibisoa, N. 2011. Uroplatus giganteus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172756A6912066. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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