Tympanocryptis pinguicolla 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Agamidae

Scientific Name: Tympanocryptis pinguicolla Mitchell, 1948
Common Name(s):
English Grassland Earless Dragon, South-eastern Lined Earless Dragon
Tympanocryptis lineata ssp. pinguicolla Mitchell, 1948
Taxonomic Source(s): Uetz, P. and Hallermann, J. 2015. The Reptile Database. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Recent genetic analysis indicates that disjunct records from the Monaro Tablelands in New South Wales represent a distinct population (Scott and Keogh 2000, Melville et al. 2007), but no formal taxonomic action has yet been taken. Records from the Darling Downs in Queensland have been described as the distinct species Tympanocryptus condaminensis (Melville et al. 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2018
Date Assessed: 2017-06-14
Assessor(s): Melville, J., Hutchinson, M., Clemann, N., Robertson, P. & Michael, D.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Luedtke, J.
Listed as Endangered on the basis that this species occurs as two subpopulations (each considered a single location defined by multiple threats), its area of occupancy is estimated to be below 500 km2 based on extensive surveys which are thought to have identified every locality where the species is extant in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, and there is a continuing decline in the species' area of occupancy (inferred from the species' loss from several historical localities), the extent and quality of suitable habitat, and the number of mature individuals driven by a wide variety of anthropogenic pressures. The species has not been recorded in Victoria for almost 60 years despite extensive survey work, and it may well be extinct in this state. Additionally, the population might well have declined by at least 30% in the last 10 years, and while true population sizes are unknown the larger of the two extant subpopulations may have an effective population size of as few as 106 individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This Australian endemic species is confined to scattered remnants of treeless native grassland on plains west of Melbourne in eastern Victoria, and in the Australian Capital Territory and adjacent New South Wales (Wilson and Swan 2013, Cogger 2014).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria - Possibly Extinct)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:499Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Number of Locations:2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A study by Dimond et al. (2012) in the Australian Capital Territory demonstrated that this species experienced a rapid decline between 1993 and 2009, and was no longer detectable in three of the 10 sites previously known to contain subpopulations. The extent of the decline was most evident in the largest known subpopulation of this species in Jerrabomberra West, where recorded density fell from 19.8 individuals per ha in 2006 to 2.4 per ha in 2008. This same subpopulation has been estimated to have an effective population size (Ne) of 106, and is likely to have undergone severe fluctuations in population size corresponding to drought conditions (Hoehn et al. 2013). The last substantiated record in Victoria was in 1969 (Pescott 1969). Despite intensive targeted surveys in Victoria this species has not been recorded in this region since then and is possibly extinct in the state. Recent surveys in the Monaro region in New South Wales (120 km south of Canberra) indicate that subpopulations in that area have also declined (T. McGrath, University of Canberra, pers. comm. cited in Hoehn et al. 2013). Genetic work has shown the remaining two subpopulations to be genetically distinct (P. Robertson pers. comm. 2017).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species appears to be restricted to remaining pockets of native grasslands, although there is some indication that it can exploit stable, low-grazed areas of non-native grasslands (Cogger 2014). This species shelters in invertebrate holes, soil cracks (Wilson and Swan 2013) and under rocks (P. Robertson pers. comm. 2017). Dispersal distances of this species are likely to be small, and animals have been found to disperse no more than approximately 100 m in six weeks of monitoring (Hoehn et al. 2013).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use of or trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is a specialist inhabitant of native temperate grasslands, which have been greatly depleted since European settlement (less than 1% remain). The main factors involved in the decline of this species are thought to be loss and fragmentation of habitat due to urban, industrial or agricultural development. In remaining areas of habitat, ongoing degradation processes have included: ploughing, changed fire regimes, changed grazing regimes (introduced and native grazers), weed invasion, use of agricultural chemicals, rock removal, and the impacts of introduced animals, either by predation or by grazing. These threats continue, to varying degrees, at all known sites (Robertson and Evans 2009). Extreme drought conditions experienced in southern Australia, exacerbated by overgrazing of livestock, may further reduce suitable habitat and reduce opportunities for subpopulations of this species to seek refugia (Dimond et al. 2012). In the Australian Capital Territory, the expansion of the Canberra airport and other infrastructure development is encroaching into the remaining areas of suitable habitat here.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed nationally as 'Endangered' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2008); significantly the concept of this species treated under this Act predates the description of Tympanocryptis condaminensis.

At the state level, this species is listed as 'Threatened' in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, and 'Critically Endangered' in Victoria (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2013). This species is further listed as 'Endangered' in New South Wales. The Office of Environment and Heritage has established five active management sites where conservation activities need to take place to ensure the conservation of this species (NSW Government, Office of Environment and Heritage). This species was declared an endangered species in the Australian Capital Territory under the Nature Conservation Act 1990 (formerly Determination No. 29 of 1996 and currently Determination No. 89 of 1997) (ACT Government, 1997).

A National Recovery Plan has been in place for this species since 2009 (Robertson and Evans 2009).

Citation: Melville, J., Hutchinson, M., Clemann, N., Robertson, P. & Michael, D. 2018. Tympanocryptis pinguicolla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22579A83494675. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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