Emoia nativitatis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Emoia nativitatis (Boulenger, 1887)
Common Name(s):
English Christmas Island Whiptail-skink, Christmas Island Forest Skink, Forest Skink
Lygosoma nativitatis Boulenger, 1887

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(i,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Cogger, H.G. & Austin, C.C.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Emoia nativitatis has been assessed as Critically Endangered under B1ab(i,iii,v).  This is due to its small distribution of less than 100 km², the fact that all individuals are found in one location (Christmas Island), and because the habitat quality and number of individuals are in continuing decline. This species was once abundant, but the impact of the invasive Yellow Crazy Ant and other currently unidentified factors has caused a significant decline in the population. Conservation measures are required to limit the impact that this invasive species is having on both E. nativitatis and other endemic lizard species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is only from Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), which has a land area of 135 km2; however, less than 100 km² of forest remains on Christmas Island (C. Austin pers. comm. 2010). This distribution constitutes one location.
Countries occurrence:
Christmas Island
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There has been a severe decline in numbers of this species over the past decade, which has been estimated at ca. 98% (H. Cogger pers. comm. 2010). It is unknown if the remaining population is distributed sparsely across its island habitat or whether it occurs only in remnant populations over a small area (H. Cogger pers. comm. 2010).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Cogger et al. (1983) state that this species is found in forest clearings, usually in leaf litter but occasionally on low vegetation or tree buttresses. It is reported to be locally abundant wherever sunlight penetrates the canopy, especially along tracks or roads with available sunlight (C. Austin pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): H. Cogger (pers. comm. 2010) reports that the rapid decline in population numbers is due to direct and indirect impacts (on the island's forest ecology) of supercolony development in the invasive Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes). However, the rapidity of the decline in both this species and other endemic lizards suggests that the threatening processes causing these declines are multiple and complex.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ecology and captive breeding options are currently being investigated for this and other threatened species on Christmas Island and initial research is being implemented by the management of Christmas Island National Park, which covers approximately 60% of the island. Conservation measures, including recovery management, are required to limit the impact that Anoplolepis gracilipes is having on the abundance of this species. Further research into the population and threats to this species should be carried out, and population monitoring is strongly recommended.

Citation: Cogger, H.G. & Austin, C.C. 2010. Emoia nativitatis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T178595A7577675. . Downloaded on 22 November 2017.
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