Friday, February 7, 2014

Raso Lark

Today's animal is named for the tiny island that it lives on-- Raso Islet in the Cape Verde chain. When I say tiny, I really mean tiny-- it is only 7 square kilometers!

No humans live on Raso, which is good for the few animals that reside there, as most are very, very endangered. Raso is the only home of the Raso Lark, which is itself critically endangered.

The Raso Lark has not been studied extensively-- there are very few of them and they live in a rather remote area. It is estimated that the population numbers around 150 individuals, but that the male to female ratio is quite off (about 2 males for every female). Reproduction is especially tough due to some of the Lark's neighbors. The island is home to the also-rare Cape Verde Giant Gecko, which loves to feed on eggs.

Raso Larks have irregular breeding seasons which are tied to the availability of food and water. Raso Islet is a volcanic island that is very dry and has little vegetation. Food and water can quickly become scarce. When food is to be found, it usually comes in the form of plant bulbs.

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Cape Verde
Size : Length up to 3ft (.9m), Weight up to 130lbs (65kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Alaudidae -- Genus : Alauda -- Species : A. razae
Image : Winkel

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