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Roque Chico de Salmor Giant Lizard
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Lacertidae
Subfamily: Gallotiinae
Genus: Gallotia
Species: G. simonyi
Subspecies: G. s. simonyi
Trinomial name
Gallotia simonyi simonyi
(Steindachner, 1889)

The Roque Chico de Salmor Giant Lizard (Gallotia simonyi simonyi) was the nominate subspecies of the lacertid (wall lizard) Gallotia simonyi. It was once present on a small islet near El Hierro in the Canary Islands.

Gallotia simonyi simonyi was only known from the Roque Chico de Salmor off northwestern Valverde municipality, El Hierro. It disappeared around the 1930s through unsustainable collecting of animals for scientific institutions and commercial interests, as well as predation by feral cats and possibly Herring Gulls (Diaz & Bischoff 1994, Miras & Pérez-Mellado 2005). Following this population's disappearance, the species was believed to be entirely extinct until Gallotia simonyi machadoi was discovered on El Hierro itself in 1974 (Böhme & Bings 1975).

The newly-discovered population is also most rare and might go extinct due to stochastic events. Presently however it seems to hold its own - not the least due to reintroduction to the Roque Chico de Salmor which is now a protected area (Miras & Pérez-Mellado 2005).

See also


  • Böhme, W. & Bings, Werner (1975): Zur Frage des Überlebens von Lacerta s. simonyi Steindachner. Salamandra 11(1): 39-46. [Article in German]
  • Diaz, Carlos Naeslund & Bischoff, Wolfgang (1994): Studien am Roque Chico de Salmor bei El Hierro (Kanaren): 1. Mögliche Ursachen für das Aussterben von Gallotia simonyi, 2. Die Artzugehörigkeit seiner Geckos (Tarentola). Salamandra 30(4): 246-253. [Article in German] HTML abstract


  1. ^ Blanco & González (1992)

External links


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