Territory Stories

Recovery plan for Slater's skink, Egernia slateri. 2005 - 2010



Recovery plan for Slater's skink, Egernia slateri. 2005 - 2010


Pavey, Christopher R; Northern Territory. Department of Infrastructure, Planning And Environment; Natural Heritage Trust (Australia)


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).



Table of contents

Abbreviations -- Summary -- Introduction and general requirments -- Distribution and habitat -- Known and potential threats -- Recovery objectives and criteria -- Recovery actions -- References.




Skinks -- Northern Territory; Reptiles -- Conservation -- Northern Territory; Rare Reptiles -- Australia, Central; Endangered species -- Australia -- Management; Endangered Species -- Australia, Central

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Dept. of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment

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Alice Springs


22 pages : map ; 30 cm.

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Related links

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/e-slateri/index.html; http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/e-slateri/index.html [Australian Government. Dept. of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.]

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11 At Finke Gorge NP, Slaters Skink has been located in a range of environments including an isolated dune supporting shrubland, low rolling calcareous rises with 60% spinifex cover, and on an elevated, narrow, rocky creek-line. The Loves Creek specimen was caught in low shrubland on the stony foot-slopes of a quartzite range (Gibson et al. 1992). In WA the species is known from low open Eucalypt and Acacia woodland with spinifex (Triodia spicata) understory on shallow sandy soils. Burrows were located at the base of clumps of spinifex (Woinarski 1992). All records are from the sandstone plateau of the Bungle Bungle massif. No detailed information is available on the habitat of the South Australian subspecies as a consequence of the exact collection locations being unclear. Known and Potential Threats Biology and ecology In general, very little is known about the ecology of this lizard. Slaters Skink is a restricted range, arid representative of a species group that is more typical of semi arid and temperate regions of Australia (Henzell 1972, 1982). It is viviparous (females give birth to live young). The diet includes insects (Henzell 1972) and probably other ground-dwelling arthropods. Slaters Skink digs 20-30 cm deep multi-entrance burrows into the low pedestal of soil that builds up beneath corkwoods and eremophilas. The burrows come into close contact with the plants tap roots. The mounds into which the burrows are built form to a depth of 10-15 cm and are likely to result from the deposition of wind-carried alluvium. The burrowing behaviour of Slaters Skink may have energetic advantages because the humidity in the air spaces around the plants roots is likely to be high which would reduce the rate of evaporative water loss experienced by the lizards (Henzell 1972). Individuals bask during the day at the entrance to their burrows and dart out to capture prey. The species appears to have a continuous diurnal exposure pattern i.e. it remains above ground throughout the day (Henzell 1982). Whether activity is diurnal or nocturnal is unclear. Reasons for Listing The decline in the population of Slaters Skink appears to have occurred earlier than is relevant to IUCN status assignation (i.e. <10 years or 3 generations). The species still qualifies as Endangered under IUCN criteria as detailed below. 1. B1 extent of occurrence <5,000 km2 and a (severely fragmented) and b (continuing decline, observed, inferred or projected in: ii) extent of occurrence, and iii) area, extent and/or quality of habitat).