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Eurydactylodes occidentalis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA DIPLODACTYLIDAE

Scientific Name: Eurydactylodes occidentalis
Species Authority: Bauer, Jackman, Sadlier & Whitaker, 2009

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-04-06
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M. & Cox, N.A.
Justification:
Eurydactylodes occidentalis is listed as Critically Endangered because of its highly restricted distribution, severely fragmented habitat, and continuing decline in the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and extent and quality of habitat. The species is restricted to two locations, both very small. The first is a remnant of 8 ha, fenced. The second location (Gouaro-Déva) is under threat from development. The locations are about 50 km apart with farmland in between. Surveys in the surrounding area have failed to locate this species. Despite one site being fenced, both face high threat from invasive species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Eurydactylodes occidentalis is endemic to Province Sud, New Caledonia. It is distributed in the central west coast of Grande Terre between Poya and Bourail. This species is known from only two locations—an 8 ha forest remnant near Poya and a much larger remnant (approximately 240 ha) at Gouaro-Déva northwest of Bourail. It occurs at elevations of up to 20 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 260 km², and the area of occupancy is estimated at 2.5 km².

[Extent of occurrence was based on a crude measure of overall length times width of the most distant known locations (a rough measure of the line around the points), except for very widespread species where the published areas of the islands were taken.  Area of occupancy is a contraction of that rough estimate for extent of occurrence based on where habitat remains.]
Countries:
Native:
New Caledonia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although there are no quantitative data on population size or trends, ongoing habitat loss and degradation suggests that populations are declining. The lowlands of the central west coast of Grande Terre have been almost totally denuded by conversion to pastoral farmland and only tiny isolated remnants of sclerophyll forest remain. As a consequence the remaining populations of Eurydactylodes occidentalis are highly fragmented and isolated.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Eurydactylodes occidentalis occurs in sclerophyll forest and closed mesophyll forest. It is arboreal and least partly, possibly, primarily diurnal. This species appears to remain on twigs and foliage all the time rather than seeking cover during periods of inactivity.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is degradation, and ultimately the loss, of the remaining areas of habitat caused by livestock and wild ungulates (deer and pigs). Rodents and feral cats occur in all sclerophyll remnants on the west coast and are expected to exert a predation pressure. Likewise, the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata is abundant in these forests and may have a detrimental impact on this species (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001).  Plans for tourist development at Gouara-Déva further threaten the habitat at that site. The distinctive chameleon-like appearance of this species and its diurnal activity make it a potential target for illegal collection and trafficking.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected in Province Nord under Code de l'environnement de la Province Nord (Délibération No. 306-2008/APN, 24 October 2008) and in Province Sud under Code de l'environnement de la Province Sud (Délibération No. 25-2009/APS, 20 March 2009). This species is not present in any reserves and no species-specific conservation management is currently being undertaken. Conservation measures are urgently needed for this species. Research is also needed regarding the population size and trends.

Bibliography [top]

Bauer, A.M., Jackman, T., Sadlier, R.A., Whitaker, A.H. 2009. Review and phylogeny of the New Caledonian diplodactylid gekkotan genus Eurydactylodes Wermuth, 1965, with the description of a new species. Zoologia Neocaledonica 7, Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 198: 13–36.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Jourdan, H., Sadlier, R.A. and Bauer, A.M. 2000. Premières observations sur les conséquences de l’invasion de Wasmannia auropunctata 1863 (Roger) sur les prédateurs supérieurs dans les écosystèmes Néo-calédoniens. Actes des collectes insectes sociaux 13: 121-126.

Jourdan, H., Sadlier, R.A. and Bauer, A.M. 2001. Little Fire Ant Invasion (Wasmannia auropunctata) as a Threat to New Caledonian Lizards: Evidences from a Sclerophyll Forest (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 38(3A): 283-301.


Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2013. Eurydactylodes occidentalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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