Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Gallotia simonyi
Species Authority: (Steindachner, 1889)
Common Name(s):
English El Hierro Giant Lizard, Hierro Giant Lizard
French Lézard De Simony
Spanish Lagarto Gigante de El Hierro

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Iñigo Martínez-Solano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2 and its Area Of Occupancy is less than 10km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and although it is no longer experiencing a continuing population decline, it has only been increasing since 2002 (and declines might have resumed since control of feral cats has stopped).
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Critically Endangered (CR)
1996 Critically Endangered (CR)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1986 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands (Spain). The species was once present throughout much of the island and on the small offshore Roque Chico de Salmor. It is currently restricted to the southern end of the Risco de Tibataje, in la Fuga de Gorreta, located between Guinea and the so-called Paso del Pino (an area of about four hectares), with reintroduced populations on the Roque Chico de Salmor, and at Julan and la Dehesa on El Hierro. The species ranges between 350 and 500m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 350
Upper elevation limit (metres): 500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population of this species is about 300 to 400 animals in the wild (including re-introduced populations)..
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is now confined to a small areas of cliff with sparse vegetation. The species is believed to have once occurred throughout much of El Hierro, being only absent from areas of laurel forest. It is a largely herbivorous species. It has two clutches of five to thirteen eggs.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is predation by feral cats, and possibly also by dogs and rats. A remnant population was extirpated from the Roque Chico de Salmor in the 1930s through the overcollection of animals for scientific institutions and commercial interests. Control of feral cats stopped in in 2002.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A recovery plan for this species has been developed, and captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes are in place. The species was successfully reintroduced to the Roque Chico de Salmor in 1999, and subsequent reintroductions have taken place at Julan and at la Dehesa. Continued control of feral cats should be resumed to allow population recovery. This species is protected by national and international legislation. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Both la Fuga de Gorreta and the Roque Chico de Salmor are protected areas.

Citation: Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Iñigo Martínez-Solano. 2009. Gallotia simonyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T8881A12935900. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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