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Project: Distribution, habitat Restoration, utilization and educational awareness program of two Endemic, Endangered Species of Abronia (lizards: A. campbelli; A. frosti) from Guatemala. Project outline: Guatemala is the centre of diversity for the arboreal lizards of the genus Abronia (10 species, 8 endemic) which live within the pine-oak and cloud forests of northern Mesoamerica. The conservation status of most species is uncertain, but restricted distributions and habitats disturbed or destroyed by human development have made most species of the genus among the most endangered lizards in the world. Both Abronia campbelli and A. frosti were thought to have become extinct soon after their discovery. Recently however, individuals of both species were re-discovered by our group in degraded remnants of pine-oak forest. Both species are thought to highly venomous by the local inhabitants and are killed on sight. The natural history, distribution and habitat utilization of these species is little known and are critical to any conservation program. The goals and objectives of this project are to address these important conservation concerns as outlined below. Species Information and threat status: Campbell's alligator Lizard (Abronia campbelli) = Critically Endangered This species is listed as Critically Endangered because it has a very restricted distribution (about 18 km2), occurs at only one location, and is subject to a continuing decline in the extent and quality of the habitat due to cattle raising, and in the number of mature individuals due to the illegal pet trade. The total estimated population size (from sampling the adults in remnant trees) is approximately 500 individuals. Exploitation for the international pet trade is presumed to be leading to a decline in the number of mature individuals, given the small population size and the numbers recorded in trade. Threats: The main threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation from cattle raising and collection for the pet trade. In addition, the oak trees where the species occurs are affected by pollution from chemical runoffs from pig farms. Frost’s Arboreal Alligator Lizard (Abronia frosti) = Critically Endangered This species is listed as Critically Endangered because it has a very restricted distribution (extent of occurrence approximately 0.7 km2), is present in one location, and is subject to a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat from logging for firewood. There are no quantitative data on population size and trends for this species. It is suspected that the population may be decreasing from loss of forest habitat. Threats: The main threat is habitat loss from logging for firewood. In addition, an infestation of pine beetles has been killing the pine trees within the forest, and the loggers are switching to oak trees. Amount awarded:

$5,000 68

Profile for Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Report 2013/14  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report - 2013 / 2014

Auckland Zoo Field Conservation Report 2013/14  

Auckland Zoo field conservation report - 2013 / 2014

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