Next Article in Journal
The Growing Complexity of UHRF1-Mediated Maintenance DNA Methylation
Next Article in Special Issue
Population Genomic Analysis of North American Eastern Wolves (Canis lycaon) Supports Their Conservation Priority Status
Previous Article in Journal
The Genome of the North American Brown Bear or Grizzly: Ursus arctos ssp. horribilis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Genes 2018, 9(12), 599;

What Is the Giant Wall Gecko Having for Dinner? Conservation Genetics for Guiding Reserve Management in Cabo Verde

CIBIO-InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Laboratório Associado da Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto, R. Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Genetics and Genomics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1526 KB, uploaded 3 December 2018]   |  


Knowledge on diet composition of a species is an important step to unveil its ecology and guide conservation actions. This is especially important for species that inhabit remote areas within biodiversity hotspots, with little information about their ecological roles. The emblematic giant wall gecko of Cabo Verde, Tarentola gigas, is restricted to the uninhabited Branco and Raso islets, and presents two subspecies. It is classified as Endangered, and locally Extinct on Santa Luzia Island; however, little information is known about its diet and behaviour. In this study, we identified the main plant, arthropods, and vertebrates consumed by both gecko subspecies using next generation sequencing (NGS) (metabarcoding of faecal pellets), and compared them with the species known to occur on Santa Luzia. Results showed that plants have a significant role as diet items and identified vertebrate and invertebrate taxa with higher taxonomic resolution than traditional methods. With this study, we now have data on the diet of both subspecies for evaluating the reintroduction of this threatened gecko on Santa Luzia as potentially successful, considering the generalist character of both populations. The information revealed by these ecological networks is important for the development of conservation plans by governmental authorities, and reinforces the essential and commonly neglected role of reptiles on island systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Desertas Islands; conservation; diet; metabarcoding; protected areas; Tarentola gigas Desertas Islands; conservation; diet; metabarcoding; protected areas; Tarentola gigas

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Pinho, C.J.; Santos, B.; Mata, V.A.; Seguro, M.; Romeiras, M.M.; Lopes, R.J.; Vasconcelos, R. What Is the Giant Wall Gecko Having for Dinner? Conservation Genetics for Guiding Reserve Management in Cabo Verde. Genes 2018, 9, 599.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Genes EISSN 2073-4425 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top