This shy Caribbean lizard is now a coveted pet—and critically endangered. How did this happen?
Poachers have used scientific reports as maps to track down and catch the lizard. It’s not the only one.
Not any old gecko. Months earlier when the Catholic priest and avid nature observer was studying plant life on the island, he came upon a creature he’d never seen before. It was a tiny lizard, about two and a half inches long from snout to tail, covered with bull’s-eye patterns of red and black with white centers.
Da Silva snapped a photo and asked around if anyone recognized the animal. No one did.
Then the herpetologists got involved. Robert Powell, a biology professor at Avila University, in Kansas City, Missouri, and Robert Henderson, a vertebrate zoology expert with the Milwaukee Public Museum, in Wisconsin, had traveled to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to lay the groundwork