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Caledoniscincus atropunctatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA SCINCIDAE

Scientific Name: Caledoniscincus atropunctatus
Species Authority: (Roux, 1913)
Common Name/s:
English Speckled Litter Skink
French Scinque de litière tacheté
Synonym/s:
Lygosoma austrocaledonicum subspecies atropunctatum Roux, 1913
Taxonomic Notes: Recent research has shown genetic and morphometric divergence between populations in the north and south of Grande Terre suggesting that at least two or more cryptic taxa may be included within Caledoniscincus atropunctatus sensu Roux 1913.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-09-14
Assessor/s: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer/s: Hamilton, A. & Cox, N.A.
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern because it is widespread and abundant, and it is present in many protected areas.
History:
2011 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is native to New Caledonia where it occurs throughout Grande Terre, and on Iles Belep, Ile des Pins, Iles Loyauté (Maré, Lifou, Ouvéa) and many smaller satellite islands. It is also present in southern Vanuatu (south of Efate). It occurs at elevations up to 1,000 m.
Countries:
Native:
New Caledonia; Vanuatu
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Very large areas of habitat for Caledoniscincus atropunctatus have been lost in the past from a variety of causes including forest clearance for agriculture, mining and wildfires, which may have impacted this lizard's population historically. Although habitat loss is ongoing, this is localized and at a greatly reduced rate, and this species can be abundant in some modified habitats (T. Whitaker pers. comm. 2012). Nonetheless, although there are no detailed data on population size and trends, the species remains very widespread and is generally abundant, and so the population is considered to be stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in a wide range of forested habitats including supralittoral vegetation, coastal forest, sclerophyll forest, lowland closed forest, and montane forest. It is also able to occupy highly modified habitats, including well-vegetated urban gardens. In Vanuatu it doesn't generally occur in heavily modified habitats (although it has been observed to be abundant in gardens in southern Tanna - T. Whitaker pers. comm. 2012), but does occur in secondary forest. It is diurnal, terrestrial and is active in sunlight. It shelters in litter, and basks and forages in sunlit patches.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is likely to be under some pressure from further loss and fragmentation of forest habitats, which is potentially a problem throughout the species' range and could result from a variety of factors including clearance for agriculture and afforestation, mining and wildfires. Introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) and, at some low-elevation sites, livestock are a threat through degradation of litter layers. In low and mid-elevation forests there is a potentially serious threat from the introduced ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, which is known to decimate lizard populations. Predation by introduced mammals (rodents and cats) is also of concern throughout this lizard's range.

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 most forested reserves throughout New Caledonia. It is not present in any protected areas in Vanuatu. No specific conservation management is currently being undertaken.
Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2013. Caledoniscincus atropunctatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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