Name: Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko
Scientific Name: Saltuarius cornutus (Also classed as Phyllurus cornutus)
body with a wide leaf-shaped tail, four legs with five thin fingers
triangle shaped head.
Status: Least Concern
Northern leaf-tailed geckos get their name from their leaf-shaped tails. Over time, these geckos adapted to hide from predators by blending in with the leaves and bark in their environment. Northern leaf-tailed geckos are so good at this trickery that unless they move, it is almost impossible to see them! Their tails also somewhat resemble their heads, thus further confusing predators. Northern leaf-tailed geckos are hunted by rats, snakes and owls. In the event that their tricks fail them, the geckos are capable of detaching their tails to ensure a quick escape.
Northern leaf-tailed geckos are nocturnal. They eat mostly invertebrates, especially spiders, cockroaches and other insects. Males are territorial in their arboreal habitats. Females will lay two eggs in the cracks of the bark. Sometimes females will share communal nests, with up to fourteen females sharing the same space! The young hatch after about eight-to-ten weeks and fend for themselves at birth.
Northern leaf-tailed geckos are classified as least concern by the IUCN. However, climate change, logging and forest fires threaten the forests of Queensland, and thus put these geckos and other animals at risk. The dangers are real, but there is hope that the damage to these forests can be halted and reversed.
To learn more about these geckos and the habitat they call home, check out these awesome websites:
IUCN Red List, Northern
Leaf-Tailed Gecko PageThe IUCNs profile on northern
leaf-tailed geckos, their threats and how preserving their habitat will
preserve them as well.
Conservation Society, Home PageAn organization that focuses
on protecting the Gondwana Rainforests of the Australia World Heritage
Rainforest Rescue, Home
PageAnother organization dedicated to protecting, maintaining
and replanting the rainforests of Australia.
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