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Amblyrhynchus cristatus ssp. mertensi

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_onStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA IGUANIDAE

Scientific Name: Amblyrhynchus cristatus ssp. mertensi
Species Authority: Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1962
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Galapagos Marine Iguana, San Cristóbal Marine Iguana, Sea Iguana
French Amblyrhynche à crête, Iguane marin
Spanish Iguana Marina

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2ce; C2b ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Nelson, K., Snell, H. & Wikelski, M.
Reviewer(s): Hudson, R. & Alberts, A. (Iguana Red List Authority)
Justification:
The marine iguana Amblyrhynchus cristatus is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. A. c. mertensi is found on San Cristobal and Santiago Islands. Extent of occurrence is estimated at less than 100 km² and area of occupancy at less than 10 km². San Cristobal Island was the site of a shipwreck in January 2001, which spilled diesel oil/bunker fuel along the southwest coast of the island.

Although A. c. mertensi is found on two different islands, the population is low on Santiago and unknown (but probably low) on San Cristobal. The 2001 oil spill is likely to have caused high (around 60%) mortality to the San Cristobal population, based on the location of the spill and its effects on other nearby islands (Santa Fe). feral dogs and cats associated with the human population pose an ongoing threat for marine iguanas on San Cristobal.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: A. c. mertensi occurs on San Cristobal and Santiago Islands. Extent of occurrence is estimated at less than 1000 km² and area of occupancy at less than 10 km².
Countries:
Native:
Ecuador (Galápagos)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Pacific – southeast
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Average generation length is five years for females and 12 years for males. The total population is not known.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The world's only marine lizard species. Adults and juveniles occur on rocky coast and intertidal zones. Adult females can be found nesting up to 2 km inland and adult males can be found in marine waters, up to depths of 20 m.
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): El Niño causes periodic dramatic (> 85%) mortality in A. cristatus. In 2000 extensive habitat contamination occurred after an oil spill. The population declined as a result of this spill. A. c. mertensi is also inder threat from predation by introduced species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A. cristatus is included on CITES Appendix II. It is under "Special Law" in the Galápagos and occurs in three protected areas: Galápagos National Park and National Marine Reserve; Galápagos Islands Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO); and Galápagos Islands World Heritage Site.

Conservation actions recommended for the subspecies include: further surveys for the subspecies, taxonomic and limiting factor research, public education, control of introduced predators on the island, and monitoring of the population and habitat.

Bibliography [top]

Carpenter, C. 1966. The marine iguana of the Galápagos Islands, its behavior and ecology. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 34(6): 329-376.

IUCN. 1994. Iguanidae and Varanidae Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) Taxon Reports. IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.

Kruuk, H. and Snell, H. 1981. Prey selection by feral dogs from a population of marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Journal of Applied Ecology 18: 197-204.

Laurie, A. 1981. Marine iguana census. Unpublished document.

Laurie, A. 1983. Marine iguanas in the Galápagos. Oryx 17: 18-25.

Laurie, A. 1987. Marine iguana project to continue. Noticas de Galápagos 45: 19-22.

Laurie, A. and Brown, D. 1990a. Population biology of marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). I. Changes infecundity related to a population crash. Journal of Animal Ecology. 59: 515-528.

Laurie, A. and Brown, D. 1990b. Changes in annual survival rates and the effects of size, sex, age and fecundity in a population crash. Journal of Animal Ecology 59: 529-544.

Laurie, A. and Brown, D. 1990c. Population biology of marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). III. Factors affecting survival. Journal of Animal Ecology. 59: 545-568.

Merlen, G. 1984. The 1982-83 El Niño: Some of its consequences for Galápagos wildlife. Noticas de Galápagos 41: 8-15.

Rassmann, K., Tautz, D., Trillmich, F. and Gliddon, C. 1997. The microevolution of the Galápagos marine iguana Amblyrhynchus cristatus assessed by nuclear and mitochondrial genetic analyses. Molecular Ecology 6: 437-452.

Trillmich, K. 1983. The mating system of the Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Z. Tierpsychology 63: 141-172.

Wikelski, M. and Trillmich, F. 1997. Body size and sexual size dimorphism in marine iguanas fluctuate as a result of opposing natural and sexual selection: an island comparison. Evolution 51(3): 922-936.

Wikelski, M., Carborne, C. and Trillmich, F. 1996. Lekking in marine iguanas: female grouping and male reproductive strategies. Animal Behaviour 52: 581-596.


Citation: Nelson, K., Snell, H. & Wikelski, M. 2004. Amblyrhynchus cristatus ssp. mertensi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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