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Marmorosphax montana 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Marmorosphax montana Sadlier & Bauer, 2000
Common Name(s):
English Montane Marble-throated Skink
French Scinque de Montagne à Gorge Marbrée

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 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.
Justification:

M. montana has been assessed as Vulnerable because it is only found in one location (Mount Ouin) and there are plausible threats, particularly mining, that may cause this species to become Critically Endangered in a short period of time. The high-elevation habitat where this species is found remains fairly intact but is at risk to future mining. Therefore, monitoring of this species' habitat and population status is required. If mining or a fire were to occur in the habitat of this species, it could trigger Critically Endangered under criteria B1 and B2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

M. montana is endemic to Province Sud, New Caledonia. It is known only from two sites (one location) near the summit of Mount Ouin in the south of New Caledonia between 900 and 1,100 m asl (Sadlier and Bauer 2000). Herpetological surveys of suitable habitat and elevations in nearby ranges in southern New Caledonia (Mt Mou, Massif du Humbolt) have not recorded this species (Sadlier pers. comm. 2010), indicating M. montana is likely to have a very restricted range.

M. montana has a very restricted range. The extent of occurrence is estimated at approximately 2 km²  and the area of occupancy at <2 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:
Native:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):900
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. M. montana is uncommon at the only location it has been found and fewer than ten specimens have been seen. It is presumed to have suffered a reduction in population size and extent resulting from past destruction of its montane forest habitat from mining activities (clearing for access roads) and from wildfires encroaching from adjacent maquis shrubland.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:M. montana inhabits high-elevation closed forest. This skink is cryptic and shelters beneath rocks and piles of earth on the forest floor or in crevices in and around road cuts (Sadlier and Bauer 2000).

This species is viviparous (R. Sadlier pers. comm. 2010).
Systems:Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat to M. montana is from habitat destruction leading to a reduction in the area of occupancy. Mineral exploration has occurred on Mt Ouin in the past and mining activity is currently intensifying in the nearby Tontouta Valley system. The montane forest is also at risk to peripheral damage and reduction in extent from wildfires in the adjacent maquis shrubland. Introduced mammals (rodents, cats and pigs) are a potential predation risk and introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) threaten habitat quality, particularly by damaging the litter layer.

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. Given its highly restricted area of occupancy, formal protection of existing habitat for this species is a high priority.

Further research on the population, habitat status, and threats to M. montana is recommended as the restricted range and posed threats suggests that this species could qualify for a higher threat category in the future.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H., Sadlier, R.A. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. Marmorosphax montana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176136A7186520. . Downloaded on 23 September 2017.
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