Sunday, 6 November 2016

Conservation Update

Prehistoric pursuit: 'Tagging' and Tracking Seychelles' Elusive Giant Bronze Gecko

All reptiles have a somewhat prehistoric air about them, but this elusive creature looks like something right out of the age of dinosaurs. The Seychelles News Agency recently published an article regarding an academic study of Seychelles' giant bronze gecko, which has afforded conservationists a greater understanding of this species with leathery, wrinkly skin. 

Endemic to the Seychelles' island of Praslin’s endangered coco-de-mer palm forests, the vulnerable giant bronze gecko seems more like a close relative of the Komodo dragon from the Galapagos Islands than a gecko.

The aptly-named Chris Tagg -- a British student from the University of Bournemouth -- has completed his MSc dissertation on the giant bronze gecko (Ailuronyx trachygaster) in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vallée de Mai, on the Seychelles’ archipelago’s second-largest island of Praslin.

In just a few months of fieldwork this year, Tagg tracked, caught and -- yes -- tagged a total of 666 geckos in the Vallée de Mai.

Tagg previously completed a BSc in ecology and wildlife conservation, but speaking to SNA in an email interview said his main interest was in studying herpetological (reptiles and amphibians) species and birds.

“The giant bronze gecko is a highly interesting species to study and I was very fortunate to be offered an opportunity to do so,” he told SNA.

To continue reading this article, visit the Seychelles News Agency post, CLICK HERE.

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