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Unraveling the ecology of the Endangered giant Cabo Verde wall gecko (Tarentola gigas), an endemic species of the Integral Nature Reserves of Raso and Branco islets

Unraveling the ecology of the Endangered giant Cabo Verde wall gecko (<em>Tarentola gigas</em>), an endemic species of the Integral Nature Reserves of Raso and Branco islets

The islets of Raso and Branco from Cabo Verde archipelago are classified as Integral Nature Reserves and are now uninhabited. These areas hold important endemic species, facing continuous human pressure, but poorly studied due to the remoteness of the area. This is the case of the giant wall gecko (Tarentola gigas), classified as Endangered (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13152177/0) mainly due to its reduced distribution. Little information is known about the population size (expected to fluctuate strongly), diet and behaviour. This information is critical and urgent to guide the conservation management plans soon to be implemented.

 

This study proposes to achieve six main objectives:
1) Define the distribution range of the species; 2) Define the population sizes of the species; 3) Identify the main preys of the species and quantify the trophic relationships with bird and arthropod species; 4) Raise awareness of local fisherman communities that frequently visit the Desertas Islands about the need of protection of the species; 5) Collect information critical for the conservation management plan to be implemented; 6) Train field researchers of local ONG BIOSFERA I to conduct methodologies specific for reptiles and DNA analyses.

Team
Principal Investigator
Raquel Vasconcelos

Raquel Vasconcelos

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Group:
CONGEN
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Researchers
Ricardo Jorge Lopes

Ricardo Jorge Lopes

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Group:
CONGEN
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Students
Vanessa Mata

Vanessa Mata

Position: PhD Student
Groups:
APPLECOL, BATECO
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Other members
Tommy Melo , Radvinson Monteiro, Franco Andreone and Bárbara Santos
State
Concluded
Proponent Institution
CIBIO-InBIO
Funded by
Fondation Ensemble
Dates
2016
Participant Institutions
Biosfera I (ONG) and Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Italy, Torino
Reference
MP/EAM/2016/06
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