Simiscincus aurantiacus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Simiscincus aurantiacus Sadlier & Bauer, 1997
Common Name(s):
English Orange-bellied Burrowing Skink
French Scinque fouisseur à ventre orange

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-10-04
Assessor(s): Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M. & Cox, N.A.
Simiscincus aurantiacus is found at six localized sites. Apart from Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue, the species is present in three small reserves, all of which are impacted by development and mining in surrounding areas, as well as by invasive species. Most of the extent of occurrence remains unprotected. Therefore, it is listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Province Sud, New Caledonia. It is known from six sites across southern Grande Terre, probably representing at least four locations (Rivière Bleue, Mt Koghis, Pic du Pins, Goro Plateau). It occurs at elevations between 150 and 500 m. The extent of occurrence is approximately 840 km² (calculated from range map).


Countries occurrence:
New Caledonia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:840
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:6Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Lower elevation limit (metres):150
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
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. However, it is expected to have undergone a reduction in area of occupancy and total population size as a consequence of the widespread loss of closed forest and canopied maquis habitat that has resulted from the recurrent wildfires in the adjacent maquis shrublands. Some areas of habitat may also have been lost to mining and logging. These impacts are ongoing. This species is rare (or very elusive) at all the localities it has been found.
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 humid forests and maquis para- and pre-forest. Its activity period is unknown (possibly nocturnal), cryptozoic; terrestrial. It shelters beneath logs, rocks and deep leaf litter, and in soil crevices. It usually forages in cover or in the open in low-light situations.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The most serious threat to Simiscincus aurantiacus is the further loss and fragmentation of habitat through the clearance of closed forests and canopied maquis. This risk is greatest for the population on the Goro Plateau which is directly threatened by the construction of a very large opencast mine. However, the two populations in reserved forest remnants on the nearby Monts Néngoné Range are at risk of degradation from the proximity of the mine development, particularly that in the Forêt Nord reserve as it immediately adjoins the coal-fired nickel smelter. Wildfires in maquis shrublands are also a threat to forest margins. Elsewhere in the Grand Sud closed forest habitats are under threat from afforestation. Introduced ungulates (deer and pigs) threaten habitat quality, particularly by damaging the litter layer and disrupting cover (such as rocks and logs) and through opening the forest and lowering humidity. The introduced ants Wasmannia auropunctata and Anoplolepis gracilipes, which are both present in the Grand Sud, are expected to have an adverse impact. Introduced mammals (rodents 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 present in Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue, three reserves (Forêt Nord, Pic du Pins, Pic du Grande Kaori) and one classified forest (Mont Koghis).  No active conservation management is being undertaken.

Citation: Whitaker, A.H. & Sadlier, R.A. 2011. Simiscincus aurantiacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176195A7195486. . Downloaded on 19 October 2017.
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