Tropidoscincus variabilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Tropidoscincus variabilis (Bavay, 1869)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Whiptailed Skink
French Scinque à queue en fouet du Sud
Leiolopisma variabile (Bavay, 1869)
Tropidolopisma variabilis Bavay, 1869

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-10-04
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M.F. & Cox, N.A.
Although the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy fall within the thresholds for the threat categories, Tropidoscincus variabilis remains very widespread within its range and is locally numerous. Hence, it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Province Sud, New Caledonia. It is widespread in the southern part of Grande Terre (northernmost localities are Mount Vulcain and Rivière Ngoi).  It occurs at elevations of up to 1,000 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 2,400 km², and the area of occupancy is estimated to be <1,500 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:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1499
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Past loss and degradation of forest and maquis shrubland habitats by wildfires is expected to have reduced population size and extent and led to fragmentation. There have also been some habitat loss from clearance for mining and logging. However, although there are no detailed data on population size and trends for Tropidoscincus variabilis, this species is able to occupy disturbed habitats and is still relatively abundant at some sites.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits a wide range of habitats including coastal vegetation, maquis shrublands at all elevations, closed forests and montane forests. It is diurnal, terrestrial and is active in sunlight. It shelters beneath logs and rocks, and rock crevices; forages in the open or in sunlit patches on the forest floor.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to this species is the further loss or degradation of habitat, particularly from wildfires in maquis shrublands and their associated damage to forest margins, and to a lesser extent from mining (Grand Sud and Tontouta Valley) and afforestation (Grand Sud). Habitat quality is also threatened by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs). In low to mid-elevation forests the invasive ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, is expected to have a severe impact as it is known to decimate lizard populations (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001) and in the maquis in the Grand Sud another invasive ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes, may be just as damaging. Predation by introduced mammals (rodents and cats) is an issue.

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 Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue and a number of other reserves in the south including Mount Humboldt, Mount Mou, Mount Koghis and Forêt Cachée. No active conservation management is currently being undertaken.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2011. Tropidoscincus variabilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176162A7190482. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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