The Alpine She-oak Skink is a medium-sized scincid lizard with a snout vent length up to 126 mm with smooth, overlapping scales and four distinct but short limbs, each with five fingers or toes. The tail is relatively short compared to species from coastal areas . Dorsal colouration is olive green to reddish-brown, with dark edges to scales that form broken, wavy stripes and occasionally irregular, narrow bands . The ventral surface is usually orange to reddish.
Alpine She-oak Skink |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Cyclodomorphus praealtus
Climate change and weeds; especially Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum); are potential threats.
Threats The main identified threats to the Alpine She oak Skink are loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire and predation.
Australian Government, Listing Advice, Cyclodomorphus praealtus
Climate change and weeds are potential threats.
Changes to climate; and vegetation change as a response to climate change; are likely to have a distinct and negative impact on alpine biota; including the Alpine She oak Skink.
Changes in vegetation structure; as a response to climate change; will include upslope migration of shrubs and heaths currently found at lower elevations; consequently overtaking tussock grassland which the species depends on.
Any impacts of climate change on the Alpine She oak Skink will affect this species across its geographic range. 9.
The Alpine She oak Skink may have experienced a decline and this decline may continue due to current and potential threats; including loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire; predation; weeds and climate change.
Criterion 3 The estimated total number of mature individuals is limited to a particular degree and either (a) evidence suggests that the number will continue to decline at a particular rate or (b) the number is likely to continue to decline and its geographic distribution is precarious for its survival As discussed under Criterion 1; it can be inferred that the population of the Alpine She oak Skink has declined and will continue to decline due to a range of threats including loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire; predation; weeds and climate change.
However; the area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 100 km2; which the Committee judges is a restricted geographic distribution that is precarious for the survival of the species given ongoing and potential threats (loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire predation; weeds and climate change); its fragmented population and its limited capacity for dispersal.
The Alpine She oak Skink faces ongoing and potential threats of loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire; predation; weeds and habitat reduction due to climate change combined with a restricted geographic distribution which is considered precarious for its survival.
Current genetic isolation and fragmentation contrasts with historical connectivity in an alpine lizard (Cyclodomorphus praealtus) threatened by climate change.
Description of Threats The main current threats to the Alpine She oak Skink are loss and degradation of habitat; wildfire and predation.
Wildfire is a current threat with direct loss of individuals and habitat loss and further degradation of habitat through subsequent vegetation succession.