While there are no direct conservation measures for this species in place at present, most of Tioman was declared a 'state wildlife reserve' in 1972 (Ng et al. 1999). According to I. Das (pers. comm. 2011), this is not part of the protected area system and is currently under of the management of private hands.
Twenty additional lizards and snakes are endemic to the same forest patch, making this a priority area for conservation in Malaysia (I. Das and G. Vogel pers. comm. 2011). Conservation measures should be undertaken, along with further research into the trends in abundance, and the impact of altered habitat status on this species. Due to the number of endemic species known to be present in the island, the distribution should be included within the national protected area system.
Further research into the abundance, habitat requirements and ecology of this species is suggested, and population monitoring is recommended.
This species is endemic to the Seribuat Archipelago in West Malaysia, where it is only known to occur on Tioman island (Grismer et al. 2006). The maximum area in which this species is known to be distributed is the area of forest on the island, which is less than 100 km².
Population InformationTwo specimens were recorded at 98 m. asl. in one pitfall trap (I. Das pers. comm. 2011). Only three specimens are known and were used to describe the species. There are no population data available for this species. Due to the rate of deforestation on Tioman, which may result in the complete loss of forest from the island within the next 10 years, the species is likely to be already declining or to decline in the near future, and is likely to become extinct within the same time period without preventative action to preserve its forest habitat.
The forests of Tioman are not protected and are currently subject to private management. The island is a well-known tourist destination and development for both residential and tourist areas is both ongoing and expanding, which is degrading and removing this species' forest habitat at a rate which may result in the complete loss of forest from the island within ten years.
IUCN Red List Account LinkPlease click here to see the species' IUCN Red List Account page.
L. Lee Grismer (Category and featured image)