Barking down the right burrows

Uncovering new Species Diversity in barking geckos using their calls.

Barking geckos are a unique group of reptiles endemic to Southern Africa. They are the only reptiles in the world that call in a true chorus like frogs, birds or crickets do, and their call is iconic in the more arid parts of Namibia. Of the three described species of barking gecko, all three are found along the Namibian west coast, around the area of Gobabeb. This makes the research station an ideal base from which to study barking geckos. Two species are endemic to the Namib desert, while the third is common throughout arid southern Africa. However, these geckos may yet be hiding a number of undiscovered species, and I have been using the qualities of their barks to guide my search. (Francois Becker)