Geoscincus haraldmeieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Geoscincus haraldmeieri (Böhme, 1976)
Common Name(s):
English Meier's Skink
French Scinque de Meier
Eugongylus haraldmeieri Böhme, 1976

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H., Sadlier, R.A. & Bauer, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team), Cox, N. & Tognelli, M.F.
G. haraldmeieri has been listed as Critically Endangered due to a presumed highly restricted distribution and continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and number of individuals. The species is known from only a single location believed to be in central New Caledonia, and to have an estimated extent of occurrence of less than 100 km². Threats in that region that would negatively impact on the species include habitat degradation from deforestation and agricultural expansion, which are causing declines in the quality of habitat in which this species lives, as well as the impacts of invasive species, which may be leading to a decline in the number of individuals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:G. haraldmeieri is endemic to New Caledonia. It is only known from two specimens from a single collection given as being collected in closed forest near Coula at 500 m elevation (Böhme 1976).  The place name Coula in the dividing ranges west of Houaïlou in central Grande Terre has been investigated and is "now intensively cultivated and no forest remains" (Bauer and Sadlier 2000). The extent of occurrence is estimated at approximately 100 km²  and the area of occupancy at < 10 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:
Number of Locations:1
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Nothing is known about population size or trends for this species. It is presumed to have undergone a major reduction in area of occupancy as a result of forest clearance for agriculture and afforestation (the area around the known locality has been highly modified since the species was described in 1976 and very little forest remains).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The two known specimens of G. haraldmeieri were found together in a fallen decaying tree trunk in a closed forest (Böhme 1976, Bauer and Sadlier 2000). This species is thought to be highly prone to desiccation, and the microhabitat used by the type specimen implies that this species might be semi-fossorial or cryptic (Bauer and Sadlier 2000).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The apparent dependence of G. haraldmeieri on closed humid forest and a high-moisture environment indicates that the species would be particularly vulnerable to loss, fragmentation and degradation of closed-forest habitat resulting from clearance for agriculture, logging and afforestation or damage to forest margins from wildfires where it occurs. Other threats would be posed by  introduced mammals—rodents, cats and pigs are potential predators; and high-density populations of introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) threaten habitat quality by opening forest and lowering humidity, and particularly by damaging the litter layer and disrupting cover (such as rocks and logs). The presence of high-density populations of the introduced ant Wasmannia auropunctata in low to mid-elevation forests across Grande Terre would also be expected to have a severe impact on the species (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001).

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. Not present in any reserves and no conservation management is currently being undertaken.

Further species-based research into its population, habitat, and threat status is also needed to help reduce its extinction risk, as well as monitoring into this cryptic species.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H., Sadlier, R.A. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. Geoscincus haraldmeieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176134A7186148. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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