This species is part of the genus Phyllurus or Australian leaf-tailed geckos. These geckos are notable for their highly effective camouflage which is boosted by tubercles that cover their bodies.
This family of Australian geckos is ancient. They diverged from all other living reptiles more than 60 million years ago!
Phyllurus kabikabi appears to occur at a low density, but it lives in complex vine habitat that makes it hard to spot these species. With the use of camera traps across three locations there is an estimated total global population of less than 1,000 adult individuals. The populations are thought to be severely fragmented as migration between locations is likely to be minimal.
The main threat to this species is habitat degradation due to the dieback fungus or other fungal diseases that affects the humidity of the gecko’s favoured microhabitat. With there only being one known population of this species it could be more vulnerable to changes in climate. The region’s climate has become increasingly dry over recent years/decades, which increases the likelihood of fires negatively affecting the gecko’s habitat. Additionally, this species is a target for the pet trade although efforts have been made to restrict access to the area.
There are no conservation actions in place specifically for P. kabikabi but it’s whole area of existence is within a protected area with existing restrictions on access and logging within the reserve has been stopped.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Carphodactylidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: unknown
This species is endemic to Queensland, Australia, where it occurs only in a narrow band of habitat in Oakview Reserve. The known locations in the park come to an area of less than 10km².
Habitat and Ecology
Phyllurus kabikabi is known only from vine forests and rock scree and it requires both habitats.