The upland day-gecko, Phelsuma rosagularis, is mainly found in upland areas and is confined to the Black River Gorges National Park. This species is easily distinguished by its deep green webbed markings and humorous pink lips, giving it a permanent smile. Although heavily impacted by loss of habitat, this species appears to be relatively secure for the time-being.The most endangered species of day-gecko in Mauritius is the lowland day-gecko, Phelsuma guimbeaui. This species has a startling bright green back with red blotches, and a blue tail-tip and neck. It is a fantastic sight to spot one of these elusive and shy reptiles. These are unfortunately severely threatened, surviving in only 30 small fragmented populations across the island, some in quite precarious locations.
These species all face threats; predation by rats, cats and mongoose has been a long-standing issue, but more recently other invasive species have caused severe impacts.
The introduced House Gecko, Hemydactylus frenatus and Stump-toed Gecko Gehyra mutilata compete with these species for habitat and food. The Madagascar Giant Day-Gecko Phelsuma grandis and indian wolf snake Lycodon aulicus predate them and completely exclude them from some areas.
Unfortunately as many people see species such as the Giant Day-Gecko (and increasingly now, the Gold-dust Day-Gecko Phelsuma laticauda) as great pets, they are still being brought in and sold in Mauritius. This is putting increasing pressure on all native day-geckos, and conservation leaders now face the difficult task of how to address this.
Filed under: Uncategorized |