Plestiodon kishinouyei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Scincidae

Scientific Name: Plestiodon kishinouyei (Stejneger, 1901)
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Skink, Kishinoue's Giant Skink
Eumeces kishinouyei Stejneger, 1901

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-12-13
Assessor(s): Kidera, N. & Ota, H.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.

Listed as Vulnerable on the basis that this species has an extent of occurrence below 20,000 km2 and an area of occupancy of around 800 km2, it is considered to occur as a severely fragmented population, and there is an ongoing decline in the number of mature individuals and in the extent and quality of its habitat.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Plestiodon kishinouyei is endemic to the Miyako Islands and Yaeyama Islands, the southern Ryukyus, Japan. Although this skink is present on most of these islands, including a very small islet which is less than 0.01 km2, its habitat range has contracted on most islands except for Yonagunijima, Iriomotejima, Aragusukujima, and Ikemajima (Ota 2014, Toda et al. 2013).

Countries occurrence:
Japan (Nansei-shoto)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:804.93
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


It is likely that the population has declined, as the frequency of records has fallen on several islands - particularly on Haterumajima, Miyakojima, and Taketomijima, three of the four largest islands within its range - and this skink is now uncommon and difficult to find. In Haterumajima, it seems that this species was commonly observed across most of the island until the 1980s, but there have been no occurrence records since 1982, when an adult male was observed near the port in summer (Ota 2014, Toda et al. 2013). It is considered to occur as a severely fragmented population as most of the islands where it survives are very small and it appears to be in decline and to have suffered range contractions on every major island on which it occurs.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Plestiodon kishinouyei exclusively inhabits open environments including grasslands, vegetated areas, villages and sparse secondary forest. It does not occur in dense natural forest. This species preys on insects, earthworms, frogs and lizards. The mating season is from March to April, when courtship battles between males are often observed. Although details about its oviposition are unknown, it is believed that females lay a clutch of eggs from the end of April to May and take care of the eggs until they hatch (Ota 2014).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no trade and no general use in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): One of the main threats to this skink's population is an increase of pressure by exotic predators such as Japanese Weasels (in Haterumajima, Irabujima and Miyakojima), Indian Peacock (Kohamajima, Kuroshima, Ishigakijima, Irabujima and Miyakojima) and feral cats (Iriomotejima). An increase in road mortality because of extension and widening of paved roads is also a threat to this species (Ota 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Plestiodon kishinouyei was designated as a Okinawa Prefecture Natural Treasure in 1975. Capturing this animal is prohibited. 

Citation: Kidera, N. & Ota, H. 2017. Plestiodon kishinouyei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T8217A96877356. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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