Caledoniscincus aquilonius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Caledoniscincus aquilonius Sadlier, Bauer & Colgan, 1999
Common Name(s):
English Northern Litter Skink
French Scinque de litière du Nord

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-08-31
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M.F. & Cox, N.A.
Even though the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are below the threshold values for Vulnerable, the population is significantly greater than 10,000 individuals, the reduction in population size expected to be < 30% and the species is present at >10 locations. However, because of the threats this species faces from habitat loss and degradation and invasive species, a Near Threatened status is appropriate as it almost qualifies for listing under criterion B1ab(iii).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Province Nord, New Caledonia. It is widespread in the ranges north from the Rivière Tiwaka. The northernmost locality is Rivière Nehoué. It occurs at elevations up to 1,000 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 2,700 km² and the area of occupancy is estimated to be <1,000 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) - km2:999
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 this species. It is presumed to have suffered a significant reduction in population size and extent in the past with habitat loss and degradation resulting from wildfires, clearance for agriculture and grazing, and from mining activities on the ultramafic massifs in the northwest. Caledoniscincus aquilonius is still locally abundant at sites where good habitat remains.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in closed forest and montane forest. It is diurnal, terrestrial, and is active in sunlight. It shelters in litter and basks and forages in sunlit patches.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The greatest threat to this species is further habitat loss and degradation for which the primary causes are expected to be wildfires encroaching into forest habitat from adjacent shrublands and savanna, and the expansion of the nickel mining industry on the ultramafic massifs in the northwest. Habitat degradation by livestock at low elevations and by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) throughout is also a risk. The introduced ant, Wasmannia auropunctatus, which is known to decimate lizard populations, is present in low and mid-elevation forests and will be a serious threat. Predation by introduced mammals (rodents and feral cats) is a further 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 the Réserve de Nature Sauvage du Mt Panié and the recreation reserve at Rivière Nehoué. 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 aquilonius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176183A7193869. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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