Kanakysaurus zebratus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Kanakysaurus zebratus Sadlier, Smith, Whitaker & Bauer, 2008
Taxonomic Notes: The population of Kanakysaurus on Dôme de Tiébaghi is genetically very close to Kanakysaurus zebratus yet is morphologically indistinguishable and genetically highly divergent from the Kanakysaurus viviparus with which it is sympatric. Whether this represents a distinct taxon or is the result of mitochondrial  introgression awaits further research (Sadlier et al. 2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-09
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M.F. & Cox, N.A.
Kanakysaurus zebratus is listed as Endangered because it has a restricted distribution and there is continuing decline in its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and extent and quality of its habitat. This species has very high ongoing level of threat from active mining at both known locations. It is also at risk from wildfires and potentially from invasive species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Province Nord, New Caledonia. It is known only from two locations on the ultramafic massifs of Kopéto–Paéoua and Koniambo on the central west coast of Grand Terre (but see Taxonomic Notes above). It occurs at elevations from 100 to 900 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 400 km² and the area of occupancy is estimated to be <50 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) - km2:49Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:400
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information on population size and trends for Kanakysaurus zebratus but at some locations it appears to be moderately common. It is assumed to have undergone a substantial reduction in area of occupancy and total population size as a result of the past widespread habitat removal by mining. Substantial areas of habitat have also been badly affected by repeated wildfires in maquis shrubland.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits low to mid-elevation closed forest, mid-elevation Gymnostoma forest, and mid- to high elevation maquis shrublands. Sites are invariably on bouldery surfaces (either laterite cuirasse or peridotite). It is diurno-nocturnal, cryptozoic and terrestrial. It shelters beneath rocks and deep within boulder beds. It usually forages in cover or in the open at night.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is at high risk to further loss of habitat arising from the large-scale nickel mine developments underway on both Kopéto-Paéoua and Koniambo. Continued loss of habitat to wildfires is also a potential issue. The introduced ant Wasmannia auropunctata is expected to have a detrimental impact in low to mid-elevation forest sites as it is known to decimate lizard populations (Jourdan et al. 2000, 2001). Introduced mammals (rodents, cats and pigs) are potential predators.

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 not present in any reserves and no conservation management is currently being undertaken.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2011. Kanakysaurus zebratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176189A7194656. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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