Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ratas Island Lizard

Podarcis lilfordi (extant relative to the Ratas
Island Lizard)
The Ratas Island Lizard is a subspecies of the Lilford's Wall Lizard. It lived only on the rocky shores of Isla Ratas, a tiny island in the Bay of Mahon, Balearic Islands, Spain.

In the 1930s, that small island was completely demolished so that larger ships could enter the bay. When the island was destroyed, the small lizards went with it.

The Ratas Island Lizard has been formally listed as extinct since 1950. There have been no efforts to revive the species, and there are only a handful of museum specimens out there.

There are still a few other subspecies out in the Balearic Islands, but most are Endangered. The Lilford's Wall Lizard actually has been divided into 27 different subspecies, and most find themselves in similar situations to the Ratas Island variety. They live very fragmented on small islands, and could easily face extinction due to a single catastrophe (natural or man-made).

IUCN Status : Extinct
Location : Spain
Size : Body Length up to 7cm
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Lacertidae -- Genus : Podarcis -- Species : P. lilfordi -- Subspecies : P. l. rodriquezi
Image : Blomberg

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