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Saharan rock agama (Agama tassiliensis sp. n.)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 11052499

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 11052499) - Saharan rock agama - Awarded $5,000 on February 14, 2012

The project proposes to achieve four main objectives using data collected during a field expedition to Niger: 1) Assess the distribution of Agama tassiliensis . This will be done using presence points collected in the field, together with the already known distribution available in bibliography; 2) Habitat characterization. Habitat descriptors will be taken at observation sites for further interpretation; 3) Derive a predictive model of occurrence. This task will combine presence data with surfaces of environmental factors (climate, topography and vegetation cover) to quantify relationships between species presence and environmental variability. This will result in a map of predicted occurrence which will be useful for conservation purposes; and 4) Conservation status assessment.

After the first two objectives have been accomplished, information gathered and results obtained will be used to define the conservation status for A. tassiliensis . Inherent to these objectives is a fifth objective, the delineation of borders between Agama boueti and A. tassiliensis . These species seem to be sympatric in the southern distribution of A. tassiliensisand, since the species discovery is so recent, incorrect identifications in the bibliography are likely to occur. Delineation of distribution and habitat differences will need a solid identification of the species, which will be based on detailed observation and photographic documentation of specimens found.

 

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