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Caledoniscincus orestes 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_onStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Caledoniscincus orestes
Species Authority: Sadlier, 1987
Common Name(s):
English Panié Litter Skink
French Scinque de litière du Mont Panié
Taxonomic Notes: There is a moderate level of genetic and morphometric differentiation between the widely disjunct groups of populations in the north and south of the species' range, and there is also a consistent difference in colouration between the population on the Panié massif and Koniambo. In the absence of data on the occurrence of the species between these groups of populations these differences are insufficient for taxonomic distinction.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-01
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M. & Cox, N.A.
Justification:
This species is listed as Endangered because the known populations are isolated and show substructuring that indicates they need to be treated as separate management units. Furthermore, those on the ultramafic massifs (e.g. Koniambo) have been fragmented and localized by habitat loss and are under constant threat from nickel mining. All threatening processes are ongoing.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from two widely disjunct groups of populations (>100 km apart) on Grande Terre, in the north the species occurs on the Panié massif and massif Koniambo, and in the south on several mountain tops from Mé Adéo near Bourail to Mt Çidoa near Thio. It occurs at elevations up to 1,600 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 4,500 km² and the area of occupancy is estimated to be <300 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:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:299Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:4500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
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 for this species. It is presumed to have suffered a limited reduction in population size and extent in the past from habitat loss and degradation associated with mining on ultramafic massifs and wildfires in maquis shrublands. Caledoniscincus orestes is still locally abundant at some locations.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits mid-elevation closed forest (>500 m), montane forest and high-elevation maquis. It is diurnal, terrestrial and is active in sunlight. It shelters beneath litter and stones, and basks and forages in sunlit-patches.
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The greatest threat to this species is from further habitat loss and degradation resulting from the expansion of the nickel mining industry on the ultramafic massifs in the south and northwest (the Panié massif is safe from mining). Wildfires damaging maquis shrublands and encroaching into forest margins are serious concern where habitat is restricted to isolated montane forest remnants. Habitat degradation by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) damaging litter layers and predation by introduced mammals (rodents and feral cats) are also of concern. Possibly at risk to infestations on the introduced ant Wasmannia auropunctata at the lowest limits of its habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is 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). It is present in the Réserve de Nature Sauvage du Mt Panié. No conservation management is currently being undertaken but this species may potentially benefit from proposed predator control in the La Guèn catchment on Mt Panié.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2011. Caledoniscincus orestes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176152A7189491. . Downloaded on 23 May 2017.
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