Conservation status

Simony's giant lizard (Gallotia simonyi) of the Canary Islands was for many years considered extinct, until a small pop ulation was discovered in 1975 on a few inaccessible cliffs on El Hierro. It occurs in low numbers and is categorized as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. The Gomeran giant lizard (G. gomerana) was only known from sub-fossil material until a very small population of live lizards was discovered in 2001, again on inaccessible sea cliffs. It appears to be even rarer than Simony's giant lizard and, while not yet listed by the IUCN, is one of the most endangered reptiles in the world. Both species are threatened by the introduction of predators such as cats and rats to the islands. Clark's lacerta (Darevskia clarko-

rum), which is listed as Endangered, is restricted to the Black Sea region. Five other lacertids are considered Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List 2000, while over 30 lacertids are included on the Bern Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife.

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