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The Madagascar gecko

(Paroedura lohatsara)

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The Madagascar gecko is a species of gecko endemic to northern Madagascar that was first discovered in 2000. The young animals in particular stand out due to their characteristic, colorful colouring, which, however, is slowly lost as they grow up.  The German name Madagascar Schönkopfgecko derives from the species name "lohatsara", which translated from Malagasy means "beautiful head". The nocturnal geckos are in front

threatened with extinction, mainly due to the destruction of their small range. Up until a few years ago, deforestation and slash and burn in particular posed an enormous threat to the reptiles native to the Montagne des Français limestone mountains. Fortunately, the area has now been placed under protection, so that the species is much less threatened. However, due to its small range, the species is vulnerable to disease, changes in climatic conditions, or other disasters. However, the international animal trade does not pose a problem for the continued existence of the species, since they are neither exported in large numbers nor kept and bred frequently. Attempts are currently being made to set up a breeding project for some of the animals living in human care in order to  to establish a reserve population outside the habitat. This could be used if, contrary to expectations, something should happen to the wild population. This is another reason why one can now be very optimistic that this gecko species, which is currently threatened with extinction, can be downgraded to a lower threat category in the near future.

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The juveniles of the Madagascar gecko are strikingly colored. The colorful coloring may serve to deter enemies.

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The adult geckos bear no resemblance to the juveniles. Their coloring makes them well camouflaged between leaves and rocks.

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