Tropidoscincus boreus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Tropidoscincus boreus Sadlier & Bauer in Bauer & Sadlier, 2000
Common Name(s):
English Northern Whiptailed Skink
Taxonomic Notes: This species was regarded as conspecific with T. variabilis when reviewed by Sadlier in 1986 (Bauer and Sadlier 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Sadlier, R.A., Whitaker, A.H. & Bauer, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team), Cox, N. & Tognelli, M.F.
Although T. boreus has a restricted range that falls within the thresholds for the threat categories, it can be locally abundant and, therefore can be regarded as secure throughout a large part of its range. Further research on this species is recommended to determine if the species should be placed in a threatened category if threats increase in the future, causing broader or continuous population declines.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:T. boreus is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from numerous locations across northern and central Grande Terre (northernmost localities are Mt Mandjélia in the east and the Kaala massif in the west; southernmost localities are the Presqu'ile de Bogota, Mt Do and Haute Pouéo near Bourail). Recorded at elevations up to 1,100 m asl.

The extent of occurrence is estimated at approximately 7,000 km²  and the area of occupancy at <2,000 km².

[Extent of occurrence was based on a crude measure of overall length times width of the most distant known locations (a rough measure of the line around the points), except for very widespread species where the published areas of the islands were taken.  Area of occupancy is a contraction of that rough estimate for extent of occurrence based on where habitat remains.]
Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no quantitative data on population size and trends for T. boreus. It is suspected to have undergone a substantial reduction in area of occupancy as a result of past clearance of forest and shrubland habitats for agriculture, logging and mining, and from wildfires. These impacts have resulted in fragmentation of the population and are on-going. This species remains locally common at many sites.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:T. boreus occurs in a wide range of habitats including coastal vegetation, maquis shrublands at mid- to high elevations, closed forests and montane forests. This species is diurnal, ground-dwelling and attracted to sunlight. It shelters beneath logs and rocks, and rock crevices; forages in the open or in sunlit patches on the forest floor.

Bauer and Sadlier (2000) identified females found in December as having two to three enlarged yolked ovarian follicles, and examination of samples collected since it was confirmed an egg-laying mode of reproduction (R. Sadlier pers. comm. 2010) was reported for its sister species, T. variabilis (Shea et al. 2009).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to T. boreus is from loss and fragmentation of forest throughout its range and also of maquis shrubland habitats on ultramafic surfaces. This could result from a variety of factors including clearance for agriculture and afforestation, mining and wildfires. On most ultramafic massifs, mining is a particular concern as it is now undergoing a rapid expansion that threatens montane forests and high-elevation maquis shrublands, to which this species is restricted. Habitat degradation by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) is an ubiquitous threat. In low and mid-elevation forests the introduced ant, Wasmannia auropunctatus, is a potentially serious issue as it is known to decimate lizard populations (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001), and predation by introduced mammals (rodents and cats) is also of concern throughout.

As T. boreus has a relatively wide distribution across Grande Terre and has been described as common, it is likely that these threats will not have adverse impacts on this species and not cause significant declines at this time, but in some areas they will have severe localized effect.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected in Province Nord under Code de l'environnement de la Province Nord (Délibération No. 306-2008/APN, 24 October 2008) and in Province Sud under Code de l'environnement de la Province Sud (Délibération No. 25-2009/APS, 20 March 2009). Not listed on CITES. This species is known to occur in a number of reserves including Réserve de Nature Sauvage du Mont Panié and Réserve de Nature Sauvage du Massif de l’Aoupinié, Réserve Naturelle Terrestre du Mont Do reserve. However, further measures should be carried out to ensure the protected areas are effective. No conservation management is currently being undertaken. Research and monitoring into the population and possible threats should also be carried out because of the relatively small distribution of this species.

Citation: Sadlier, R.A., Whitaker, A.H. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. Tropidoscincus boreus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176131A7185473. . Downloaded on 24 October 2017.
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