Nannoscincus hanchisteus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Nannoscincus hanchisteus Bauer & Sadlier, 2000
Common Name(s):
English Pindai Dwarf Skink
French Scinque nain de Pindaï

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) 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.
N. hanchisteus has been assessed as Critically Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 100 km², all individuals are in a single population, and there is continuing decline in the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and extent and quality of its habitat. Surveys of surrounding areas with suitable habitat have not encountered this species and so it is imperative that its only location is protected. The species is moisture dependent and habitat is vulnerable to prolonged drought.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:N. hanchisteus is endemic to Province Nord, New Caledonia. It is known only from a small remnant of closed sclerophyll forest on the Pindaï Peninsula on the north west coast of Grande Terre (Bauer and Sadlier 2000, Sadlier et al. 2002). Further surveys in sclerophyll forest to the north and south of the known locality have not recorded this species (Whitaker et al. 2005). The extent of occurrence of this species is approximately 6 km² and the area of occupancy is about 6 km².  The elevation range is from sea level up to 60 m asl.

[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):60
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 N. hanchisteus but it appears to be localised and very uncommon. It is assumed to have undergone a dramatic reduction in area of occupancy as a result of the destruction of sclerophyll forest in the immediate area of Pindai and possibly elsewhere on the central west coast as a result of clearance and wildfire - the true extent of the population pre-human will never be known. Recurrent wildfires in the adjacent savanna and the presence of high-density populations of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata at the only known site mean the population is expected to be declining in both extent and density.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:N. hanchisteus is found in sclerophyll forests (Sadlier et al. 2002). This species is cryptozoic, semi-fossorial, and chooses the moistest habitats within the rather mesic sclerophyll forests (Bauer and Sadler 2000). It shelters beneath stones and litter, and forages through leaf litter.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The greatest threat to N. hanchisteus is the high vulnerability of the remaining sclerophyll forest habitat to wildfires. The high-density population of Wasmannia auropunctata at the site is also a very serious threat as these exotic ants are known to decimate lizard populations (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001). Habitat degradation by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs), leading to lower humidity, and from pigs disturbing the litter layer and cover are other significant concerns. Predation by rodents may be a risk. There is also a very high-density population of the African snail Achatina fulica at the site and the long-term consequences of this on the vegetation composition and structure, and litter stability are not known. Even if N. hanchisteus is found to occur in other sclerophyll remnants in the area, these are likely to be highly vulnerable to clearance for agriculture or degradation by livestock.

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 research on the population, distribution, and threats to the species is recommended. The area in which this species is distributed needs to be protected and managed to help ensure its survival.

Citation: Sadlier, R.A., Whitaker, A.H. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. Nannoscincus hanchisteus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176137A7186715. . Downloaded on 26 September 2018.
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