Techmarscincus jigurru 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Techmarscincus jigurru (Covacevich, 1984)
Common Name(s):
English Bartle Frere Cool-skink, Bartle Frere Skink
Leiolopisma jigurru Covacevich, 1984

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-06-15
Assessor(s): Hoskin, C. & Shea, G.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bowles, P.
Listed as Vulnerable on the basis that this species has a very restricted range in areas above 1,400 m on a single mountain in the Wet Tropics. Climate change has been identified as a significant threat to this species as it is reliant on moist, cool areas at the tops of mountains, and modelling of climate impacts in the Wet Tropics has identified this species as being at risk. While the time frame for climate impacts is unclear, and it is not thought likely to be at risk within the next ten years, impacts may become evident within 25 years and this region has recently been subject to extended drought. Should drought conditions become more frequent, this species may be at more immediate risk than presently supposed, and monitoring of the only known significant subpopulation is recommended to provide early warning of long-term climate impacts or the effects of droughts, which are likely to result in this species becoming Critically Endangered within a short period after becoming active.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This Australian endemic species is known only from the top of Mt Bartle Frere, northeastern Queensland (Cogger 2014), and is found only above 1,400 m (Queensland Government Department of National Parks Sport and Racing 2017). The mountain has a maximum elevation of about 1,600 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1400
Upper elevation limit (metres):1622
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common in its very narrow elevational range (C. Hoskin pers. comm. 2017). Based on climate modelling, declines are projected to be already ongoing. Although the species is still common and there is no evidence of decline despite regular visits (G. Shea pers. comm. 2017), no systematic monitoring is in place and it is possible that declines are underway (C. Hoskin pers. comm. 2017)
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been found among granite boulders, which occur as large "fields" surrounded by dense rainforest near the mountain summit (Cogger 2014). It is also found in rocky habitats within the forest.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use of or trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Climate change will likely pose a long-term threat to this species, as it is confined to moist, cool areas in an elevational band of around 200 m near the top of Bartle Frere and will not be capable of upslope displacement should its present habitat become unsuitable. It is projected to lose more than 50% of its core habitat with a 1° C increase in temperature (Krockenberger et al. 2003), as the species is dependent on moisture from clouds at these elevations. The Wet Tropics was affected by an extended drought between 2002 and 2004, and increases in extreme events like this may pose a major threat. Climate modelling indicates that even a 1 °C increase in global temperature will result in significant range contractions in 63 of 65 vertebrate species endemic to the Wet Tropics, and that greater temperature increases would result drastic declines in the current core habitat area for every regionally endemic vertebrate (Williams et al. 2003). The timing of future climate impacts is not clear, but may become active in more than 10 but as little as 25 years based on recent projections of climate change impacts on Wet Tropics frogs (Fordham et al. 2016).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is considered to be Vulnerable in Queensland under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection 2016). Its range lies entirely within a protected area. Monitoring is strongly recommended to determine whether this species is already in decline, and whether it may be at greater immediate risk from climate change than presently recognized.

Citation: Hoskin, C. & Shea, G. 2018. Techmarscincus jigurru. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T109481391A109481400. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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