New localities and distribution models inform the conservation status of the endangered lizard Anolis guamuhaya (Squamata: Dactyloidae) in central Cuba
Keywords:Climate change, ecological niche modeling, natural history, Twig-giant Anole, West Indies
New localities and distribution models inform the conservation status of the endangered lizard Anolis guamuhaya (Squamata: Dactyloidae) from central Cuba. Anolis guamuhaya is known from seven localities restricted to the Guamuhaya Massif in central Cuba and is always associated with mountane ecosystems above 300 m a.s.l. Previous evaluations of the conservation status of the species based on the estimated number of mature individuals have categorized the anole as Endangered. Eight new records of A. guamuhaya are provided here. These double the number of known localities, and two represent the first records of the species in lowland areas, apart from the Guamuhaya Massif. The new records extend the elevational range of the species from 15 m to above 1000 m. We used ecological niche modeling based on all of the locality records, along with what we considered the most appropriate IUCN criteria according to the available information (Criterion B) to reevaluate the conservation status of the species. These new records of A. guamuhaya increase its area of occupancy up to a total of 60 km2 , and its extent of occurrence up to 648 km2 . Despite this increase in geographic range, the species meets the IUCN criteria in the category of Endangered. We used ecological niche modeling to predict possible trends for the species under differing scenarios of global climate change, all of which portend a drastic reduction in area climatically suitable for A. guamuhaya.