Central Haitian Curlytail is a Hispaniola endemic is only known from a collection of 15 records taken in 1976 and it has not been reported since then.
The lack of sightings of the Central Haitian Curlytail species has led to the fear it may have already become extinct, although only a single recent survey has been conducted in this area.
The Central Haitian Curlytail is a member of the genus Leiocephalus which is the only genus in the family Leiocephalidae, known as the curlytail lizards. This family diverged from all other reptile families 59 million years ago, around the time that Asian elephants and manatees shared a common ancestor.
This species is found in Haiti where the main threat is habitat loss from agricultural expansion, charcoal production and wood harvesting. Its range also falls heavily within a populated area where little native vegetation remains. The introduction of the Small Indian Mongoose is also a major threat as it predates heavily on the Central Haitian Curlytail.
There are currently no species specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its range does overlap with the Sierra Martín García National Park but current conservation measures are ineffective in protecting the forest against deforestation. Surveys are required to determine the population size and range of this species.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Leiocephalidae
- Population: Rare
- Trend: decreasing
The species is found from Plateau Central, Haiti.
Habitat and Ecology
As this species has not been seen for over 40 years, virtually nothing is known about its ecology or habitat. The specimens discovered in 1976 were found on a hillside above a lake, on the rocky wall of a road cut and in a shaded cavity in a wall.