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64. Lapierre Curlytail Lizard

Leiocephalus rhutidira

About

This Hispaniola endemic is only known from the original set of specimens from which it was described in 1978 and has not been recorded since.

Curly-tailed lizards of the genus Leiocephalus are the only members of their entire family. These unique reptiles diverged from all other lizards around 60 million years ago, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs!

More recent efforts to find the Lapierre curlytail lizard, including two targeted surveys, have failed to record any evidence of a surviving population. The lack of sightings has led to the fear this species may have already become extinct.

This species is threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, charcoal production and wood harvesting, and its distribution is thought to be limited to an area no larger than 44 km².

There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species currently. Surveys are required to see whether this species is still extant.

  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Leiocephalidae
  • Population: Possibly extinct
  • Trend: unknown

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.64 (?)
ED Score: 16.668 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct

Distribution

The species is found from Départment de l’Artibonite, northwestern Haiti.

Habitat and Ecology

This is presumably from xeric (dry) habitats and it has been found at the base of hills in vegetation composed of Acacia-Agave associations.

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