Conservation

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While a fair amount of research has been done on this species there are still considerable gaps in our knowledge of the ecology and biology of this species and despite the numerous threats facing the species, a very small proportion of Sungazer habitat is under any formal protection.

The two primary thrusts are to secure habitat under formal conservation using stewardship and monitor the legal and halt the illegal trade of Sungazer’s.

Actions:

3.1 Initiate and coordinate provincial and national conservation projects for Sungazer’s;

3.2 Maintain, enhance and secure (through conservation stewardship) sufficient habitat to sustain viable and productive populations of Sungazer’s in South Africa;

3.3 Raise the profile of Sungazer’s by informing and creating awareness amongst target groups in order to gain support for Sungazer conservation;

3.4 Ensure sustainable Sungazer populations by formulating best management practices based on appropriate information;

3.5 Ensure that all landowners and managers with Sungazer’s are aware of the relevant legislation and recommendations regarding management, disturbance and land transformation;

3.6 Raise sufficient funds to mobilize public and logistic support for the conservation of Sungazer’s in South Africa;

3.7 Cooperate with scientific and learned bodies where there is a common interest as well as promote and assist relevant academic research;

3.8 Work together with all interested and affected parties to conserve Sungazer’s, including international partners and relevant provinces;

3.9 Re-assess the IUCN red-list status of Sungazer’s;

3.10 Collaborate to minimize impacts of the pet and muthi trade through the monitoring of existing populations, reporting of poaching incidents and prosecuting offenders;

3.11 Develop a species-based Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP-s) for Sungazer’s;

3.12 Management of confiscated individuals through the use of temporary holding facilities and with the aim of re-introduction;

3.13 The development of an ex-situ husbandry manual outlining effective techniques for captive management and potentially breeding;

3.14 Register as an interested and affected party, comment on and if necessary object to any environmental impact assessment related to Sungazer populations or potential habitat;

3.15 Co-ordinate the relocation of (and develop relocation guidelines for) any individuals to be impacted by approved development;

3.16 Use Sungazer’s as flagship species for the conservation of intact Highveld grassland for the benefit of ecosystem services and other specialist grassland species, and;

3.17 To do any other matter incidental to the above that may be necessary to carry out the mission of the SWG.

3.18 Get the Sungazer recognized as South Africa’s National Lizard.