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65. Cap-Haitien Least Gecko

Sphaerodactylus lazelli

About

The Cap-Haiten Least gecko is only known from the original set of specimens from which the species was identified in 1960. Despite additional survey efforts this species has not been found again, leading to fears that the Cap-Haiten Least Gecko may already be extinct.

The Cap-Haiten least gecko is part of the infraorder of geckos which includes some of the smallest reptiles in the world, reaching around only 1.5 – 6 cm in length.

It is part of the family Sphaerodactylidae which diverged from all other families of reptiles 87 million years ago, around the time that humans and rabbits shared a common ancestor!

The Cap-Haiten least gecko is found on the island of Haiti where habitat loss poses a major threat. Much of the land in this area is being cleared for agricultural use, charcoal production and wood harvesting, as well as urbanisation and slash and burn agriculture.

Although very little is known about the biology of this species, their high surface area to volume ratio makes them vulnerable to desiccation in open landscapes. Therefore habitat loss is a serious problem for this species as it cannot survive in cleared areas.

There are no known species-specific conservation management measures in place and this species does not occur in any protected areas. Further efforts should be taken to rediscover this species, although intensive surveys across Haiti have failed to record a population.

  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Sphaerodactylidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: unknown
  • Size: 20-50mm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.63 (?)
ED Score: 16.500 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct

Distribution

The Cap-Haiten Least gecko is found in northern Haiti at sea level.

Habitat and Ecology

Virtually nothing is known about this elusive species but by looking at other members of the Sphaerodactylidae family, scientists predict that the Cap-Haiten Least gecko lives in mesic moderately moist environments.

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