Tiny gecko population doubles in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Conservation groups almost doubled the number of tiny geckos after they decreased significantly.
A Critically endangered gecko, only a little bigger than a paperclip, has been saved by diligent conservationists on St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Union Island gecko has nearly doubled in number from 10,000 to 18,000 in just four years.
When the small gecko was found in 2005 in a 123-acre patch of undeveloped jungle on Union Island, it immediately attracted the attention of illicit pet traffickers. It was believed that the animal would completely vanish by 2017 due to its overtrafficking.
Conservation groups Fauna & Flora International, Re:Wild, and Union Island Environmental Alliance worked together with the country’s forestry department to develop a strategy to save the gecko utilizing camera surveillance and anti-poaching patrols.
The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines also inscribed in 2019 the Union Island gecko on Appendix I of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), with I representing the highest standard of protection and enforcement.
Their efforts had an immediate effect, rapidly expanding their tiny footprint on the small island.
“As a Unionite and a community leader, I am extremely proud to be a part of this success story,” Roseman Adams, co-founder of the local Union Island Environmental Alliance, said in a press release.
“Without a doubt, our shared, unwavering dedication and sacrifice has brought us this far. We now have to be entirely consistent with further improvements in our management and protection of the gecko’s habitat for this success to be maintained.”