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Ceratophora aspera

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA AGAMIDAE

Scientific Name: Ceratophora aspera
Species Authority: Günther, 1864
Common Name(s):
English Rough Nose Horned Lizard, Sri-lanka Horned Agama

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Somaweera, R. & de Silva, A.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Justification:
Ceratophora aspera has been assessed as Vulnerable under criterion B1. This species has an extent of occurrence of less than 20,000 km² and there is a continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat due to ongoing deforestation. This species is reported as common in some localities; however its distribution is severely fragmented due to lack of suitable habitat. Conservation measures to reduce the rate of habitat loss should be carried out.  Population and habitat monitoring is recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Sri Lanka and occurs in the southwestern wet zone. The area in which this species is distributed is approximately 10,300 km². This species is found between 60 and 990 m above sea level.
Countries:
Native:
Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is uncommon in Sri Lanka, according to Bahir and Surasinghe (2005); however, Somaweera (pers. comm. 2010) reports it as "the most common horned lizard in the lowlands" (of the two other Cetophoras species) and recent observations show that it is common in lowland rainforests (A. de Silva pers. comm. 2010).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is a ground-dwelling species that inhabits dense, high canopy, natural forest and is apparently restricted to the undisturbed and fragmented, moist lowland and submontane dipterocarp forests (Pethiyagoda and Manamendra-Arachchi 1998, Manamendra-Arachchi and Liyanage 1994) and moist lowland rainforest (R. Somaweera pers. comm. 2010). Recent observations by de Silva (pers. comm. 2010) found that this species is semi-arboreal as over 50 animals were observed on the stems of small plants about 6 to 20 cm above ground. This species was also found on leaf litter and occasionally on moss covered roots of large trees or on decaying logs.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Senanayake (1980) states that the species is "extremely intolerant of habitat disruption and disappears when primary rain forest cover is lost". Severe deforestation has occurred in Sri Lanka due to human activities including the clearing of land for agricultural purposes, conversion to plantation land, mining, logging and pressures associated with expanding human settlements. In 2005 it was estimated that only 5% of the island's original wet zone forest, where the species occurs, remained (Bahir and Surasinghe 2005). While there have been some reforesting attempts, these have mainly consisted of monoculture, exotic species and do not support high numbers of native vertebrates (Manamendra-Arachchi and Liyanage 1994). This species was considered Endangered by Manamendra-Arachchi and Liyanage (1994) due to its restricted and fragmented range and the ongoing threat of deforestation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, however, it is known to occur in a number of protected areas within its range, including the Sinharaja Natural Heritage Wilderness Area. However, illegal logging, mining and human encroachment remain a threat even in this protected area (UNEP-WCMC 2006). Conservation measures are required to ensure that the protected areas within this species' range are managed and further habitat loss is prevented. Further research into the species' population and habitat should be carried out, and population monitoring is recommended.
This species was listed as Endangered B1ab(i,iii) in the 'The 2007 Red List of Threatened Fauna and Flora of Sri Lanka'.

Citation: Somaweera, R. & de Silva, A. 2010. Ceratophora aspera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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