Nannoscincus gracilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Nannoscincus gracilis (Bavay, 1869)
Common Name(s):
English Gracile Dwarf Skink
French Scinque Nain Gracile
Anotis gracilis (Bavay, 1869)
Lygosoma gracilis Bavay, 1869
Mocoa micropus Günther, 1872

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable 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): 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.
N. gracilis has been assessed as Vulnerable because its distribution is highly fragmented and the species faces a number of threats, meaning further declines are anticipated in its area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, and extent and quality of its habitat. Genetic data (R. Sadlier, pers. comm. 2010) indicates that this species has a very high level of population sub-structuring. This translates into numerous isolated populations in humid forest fragments that are subject to an array of threats that could reduce its habitat or lead to population crashes with no perceived chance of re-colonization once extinct. Further research is recommended to determine if this species is experiencing population declines in response to intensifying threats, thereby warranting listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:N. gracilis is endemic to New Caledonia. It occurs in widely scattered locations throughout the island from Mount  Mandjélia in the north to Forêt de la Thy and Nouméa in the south (Bauer and Sadlier 2000). Most localities are in the central part of the island between Poindimié and Mont Do. The upper elevation limit of this species is 1,000 m asl. The extent of occurrence of this species is approximately 10,000 km² and the area of occupancy is estimated to be < 1,000 km². The populations in the extreme north and south of the species' range are isolated by considerable distances (>60 km) from all other records and may represent distinct sub-populations. However, this may be an artefact of collecting effort.

[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):1000
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. gracilis. It is assumed to have undergone substantial reduction in area of occupancy from the widespread loss of low to mid-elevation closed forests through clearance for agriculture and logging, and of mid- to high elevation forests for mining. The impact of wildfires from adjacent savanna and maquis will also have reduced the extent of forests through peripheral damage. It is considered locally common at some locations (Bauer and Sadlier 2000).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is known to inhabit closed humid forest and montane forest, and from sclerophyll forest in the Noumea region. This species is cryptozoic, semi-fossorial and terrestrial. It shelters beneath logs, stones and litter, and in cracks in the soil and forages through leaf litter. It is highly desiccation-prone.

It is oviparous with two to three eggs per clutch, and the females are gravid during the rainy season from December to January (Bauer and Sadlier 2000).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss and degradation is the primary threat to N. gracilis. Further clearance for agriculture and afforestation will jeopardise the already highly fragmented low to mid-elevation forests of the central region, and the nickel mining industry threatens populations in montane forests on ultramafic substrata. The periphery of all closed forests is at risk from wildfires in adjacent savanna and maquis. All forests are also at risk to degradation by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs), leading to lower humidity, and from pigs disturbing the litter layer and cover. There are high infestations of the introduced ant Wasmannia auropunctata at many of the low to mid-elevation sites where N. gracilis occurs and these are expected to be a serious issue (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001). Predation by rodents may be a risk.

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.

The distribution of this species occurs in protected areas, including Réserve de Nature Sauvage du Massif de l’Aoupinié and Mont Do, offering small safeguards against habitat loss and degradation. However, these areas need to be managed to provide effective conservation. No specific conservation management is currently being undertaken for this species. Research and monitoring of the population, habitat and threat status should be carried out.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H., Sadlier, R.A. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. Nannoscincus gracilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176140A7187635. . Downloaded on 24 October 2017.
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