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Gongylosoma mukutense

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Gongylosoma mukutense
Species Authority: Grismer, Das & Leong, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Pulau Tioman Ground Snake
Taxonomic Notes: G. mukutense has been recently described and differs from all other species of the Gongylosoma genus in having a single, enlarged, posterior temporal; chinshields of equal size, and a thin nuchal band that contacts a vestigial vertebral stripe (Grismer et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A3c; B1b(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Iskandar, D., Das, I., Inger, R.F. & Grismer, L.
Reviewer(s): García, N. & Bowles, P.
Justification:
This species is only known from a single location on the island of Tioman, a patch of less than 100 km2 which is all that remains of the original forest. This forest is not legally protected and deforestation is already becoming a problem. As the island itself has an area of little over 130 km2, ongoing commercial development activities are likely to further accelerate habitat loss. In addition, due to the very small size of the population, there is also the potential for stochastic events to lead to extinction (R. Inger pers. comm. 2011). The species is listed as Critically Endangered as it is confined to an area of less than 100 km2, it is found in a single location at risk from development, and there is a continuing decline in the quality and extent of remaining forest habitat. In addition, as it is projected that the present rate of habitat loss due to deforestation could lead to the destruction of the entire forested area, and hence a reduction in the population of this snake by as much as 100%, in the next 10 years.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is restricted to Tioman Island in Malaysia. Despite being known only from the type specimen, it is reasonable to assume that this species is confined to Tioman since the island is a defined biogeographic area with its own endemic fauna.
Countries:
Native:
Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population status is not known as all the information available is based on the type specimen. However, it is presumed that this species is dependent on forest habitat, and it is therefore likely that the species is or will soon be in decline. Due to the current rate of forest loss, which may result in the removal of all forest on the island within the next ten years (and therefore also within the longer of ten years or three generations), this species is likely to become extinct without preventative action to preserve its habitat.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Although information is limited, the species is known to be a forest floor dweller and thought to feed on spiders. The habitat where the species was recorded is lowland forest.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:  There are no reports of this species being utilised or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The forests of Tioman are not protected and are currently subject to private management. The island is a well-known tourist destination and development for both residential and tourist areas is both ongoing and expanding, which is degrading and removing this species' forest habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Twenty additional lizards and snakes are endemic to the same forest patch, making this a priority area for conservation in Malaysia (I. Das and G. Vogel pers. comm. 2011). Conservation measures should be undertaken, along with further research into trends in abundance and impact of altered habitat on this species. Due to the number of endemic species known to be present in the island, the distribution should be included within the national protected area system.

Bibliography [top]

Grismer, L.L., Das, I. and Leong, T.M. 2003. A new species of Gonglyosoma (Squamata: Colubridae) from Pulau Tioman, West Malaysia. Herpetologica 59(4): 565-572.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).


Citation: Iskandar, D., Das, I., Inger, R.F. & Grismer, L. 2012. Gongylosoma mukutense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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