Taxonomy

endemique
protegee

Common name :

Le Gecko robuste des forêts Robust Forest Gecko

Red List Status -


Protected species -

in Southern Province , in Northern Province

Description

Description:

A medium to moderately large species of gecko growing to a body length of 83mm with a stout body and tail 100% that of the body length. It has moderately broad toes. The colour pattern on the top of the body typically has 4-5 pale blotches, dark-edged below, and the under surface is yellow.

 

Natural Distribution:

Recent studies on the New Caledonian endemic geckos show Bavayia robusta comprises two distinct genetic groups in southern New Caledonia:

  • one with a distribution extending along the west coast from Dumbéa and Pointe Maa in the north to at least Mt Dore in the south (includes the type population on Mt Koghis), including adjacent offshore islands - recorded from coastal mangroves, coastal dry forest, and low and mid elevation humid forest habitats.

  • one with a distribution that includes Forêt Nord in the far south of Grande Terre, and populations on the Ile des Pins and its satellite islands – recorded from coastal scrub and low humid forest on Ile des Pins, and from low elevation humid forest at Forêt Nord.

 

The status of populations of on the south-east coast formerly assigned to Bavayia cyclura are unknown but most likely are conspecific with Bavayia robusta.

 

Distribution within Province Sud: see above.

 

Habitat:

Humid forest on the Plaine des Lacs and low-mid elevation forest on chaine centrale; coastal mangroves; sclerophyll forest.

 

Threats:

  • potentially high level of threat to populations in humid forest with high infestation levels of the introduced Little Red Fire Ant (Wasmannia auropunctata), resulting in a significant decline in abundance.

  • potentially high level of threat to fragmented humid forest habitat on ultramafic soils through repeated firing of adjacent maquis habitat, leading to loss and degradation of the forest edge.

  • moderate to high level of threat to coastal forest through loss, modification and fragmentation of forest habitat to local agriculture.

  • localised but potentially high level of threat to significant populations in mangrove habitat through development.

  • localised but potentially high level of threat from exotic pests such as rats and cats (predation of adults, young & eggs) in heavily affected forests, particularly on islands.

 

Conservation Status: Data Deficient

 

Both genetic groups are likely to be relatively widespread throughout their respective ranges – and the species is likely to be recorded from additional locations with further survey work. It occurs in coastal habitats (mangroves, dry forest, low-elevation humid forest) and in humid forest of the adjacent ranges. Because of its relatively broad distribution the species does not satisfy the criteria required to place it at a high level of threat, but most coastal habitat is highly fragmented, modified and infested with the invasive Little Red Fire Ant, and for this reason it is regarded as near threatened.

 

Department of Herpetology, Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney 2000, New South Wales, Australia


Geographical distribution