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Peru-BMAP

Strategic alliance between  SCBI-CCS with PERU LNG, APECO, and the Peruvian Governement

Lizards

Liolaemus sp. y Proctoporus sp.

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What are the characteristics of this group?

  • The lizard genus Liolaemus is one of the most diverse in the world, with around 200 species described and many still undescribed. Liolaemus has a wide distribution from the Andes of Peru to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. In Peru, species of the genus that live in high altitude areas are found in a variety of habitats from flat areas to those with a steep slope.

  • Many of the Liolaemus species that live in height present viviparity and reproduce during the autumn and winter, with the birth of the young during the spring months (September to December). Some species present sexual dimorphism, with females and males being able to have differences in tail length, body size and shape or absence of pre-cloacal pores. There are species of herbivores, insectivores and omnivores.

  • The genus Proctoporus is composed of six species described in addition to several species not yet described, whose geographical distribution is limited to high sites in cloud forest and puna biotopes in Peru and Bolivia. In Peru, the genus is distributed in the Departments of Apurímac, Ayacucho, Cusco, Junín and Puno.

  • The six species of the genus are similar in body size, coloration and external ornamentation. Four of the six species occur in an altitude range between 2770-4080 masl, with nocturnal temperatures below 0 ° C. These species are usually found under rocks. The other two species are present between 1000-3200 meters above sea level in wooded areas or clearings of forests made for agriculture and can occasionally be found on the leaves. All the species are diurnal and terrestrial, being the beetles, ants and spiders the most frequent prey.

 

Where do we study the species?

  • The species of Liolaemus and Proctoporus have been recorded in virtually all ELUs, from 1 to 12.

  • We selected two groups of Proctoporus species and three groups for Liolaemus in three vegetation units within seven ELUs (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10). These are the puna grasslands (3 groups of species), the puna grass (1 group), and the montane bushes (1 group).

 

What questions do we seek to answer with the study?

  • What are the species of Liolaemus and Proctoporus present in the area of ​​influence of the pipeline?

  • What is the distribution, abundance, typical habitats, and structure of the lizard populations associated with the areas of influence of the pipeline?

What general results do we have to date?

  • We found eight species of lizards in the two genera of interest that include Proctoporus sp1., Proctoporus sp2., Liolaemus walkeri, Liolaemus sp. gr. signifer, Liolaemus cf. polystictus, Liolaemus cf. melanogaster, Liolaemus cf. williamsi and Liolaemus sp. Nov. We also report three more species of lizards: Microlophus theresiae, M. tigris and Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus.

  • The species Proctoporus sp1. it is restricted to eastern habitats in montane forest and puna grass, while Proctoporus sp2. it lives in the grass of puna and in smaller proportion in pajonales of the Eastern slopes of the mountain range of the $ andes.

  • While Liolaemus species are preferentially found in puna grass habitats, Phyllodactylus gerrhopygus and Microlophus theresiae are found in coastal coastal deserts, and Microlophus tigris was only observed in cactus areas.

  • We find lizards recolonizing the right of way (RoW). However, the records of lizards within the RoW have so far been lower than in the areas studied outside the RoW (control).

 

Why is the conservation of this species important?

  • The species of these two genres of lizards are not found in any categorization list of threatened national or international species. However, this is due to the lack of scientific information regarding its ecology. The General Directorate of Wild Fauna and Flora of the Ministry of Agriculture of Peru is carrying out a process of re-categorization of threatened species in which some species of lizards from southern Peru have been proposed to be considered in this process.

  • Lizards have an ecological role within the systems in which they live. They feed on insects (controlling their populations) and they feed vertebrate predators.

  • Individuals who could represent new species are admitted to museum collections but are rarely described by the complexity of the group or by the lack of taxonomy specialists for this group.

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