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

Place of publication

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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13 Current threats No threatening processes have been positively demonstrated, although McAlpin (2000) has identified a number of likely threatening processes in the southern NT. Degradation of its alluvial habitat as a result of invasion by the introduced Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and associated changes in fire regimes, appears the most likely cause of the species decline. In particular, the decline and disappearance of Slaters Skink is correlated with the introduction and establishment of Buffel Grass into central Australia in the late 1960s. This weed has radically altered the vegetation structure and species composition of drainage systems in central Australia. Buffel Grass is now the dominant ground cover at the type locality and surrounding alluvial areas. At the type locality, the species occurred at high densities in the 1960s and 1970s despite it being heavily grazed by cattle (G. Fyfe personal communication). At present, no empirical evidence is available that identifies weed invasion and associated changes in fire regimes as the cause of declines and local extinctions of Slaters Skink. However, there is an urgent need to examine this possibility and, if the threat is verified, to develop management actions that will reduce its impact. Areas and populations under threat The spread of Buffel Grass and its impact on fire regimes is widespread in central Australia, particularly on floodplains. Given that Slaters Skink is probably extinct at the type locality, habitat restoration will be necessary before individuals could be reintroduced. Locations in Finke Gorge NP are generally well protected and under active weed, fire and feral animal management. The WA population of Slaters Skink occurs on the plateau of the Bungle Bungle massif, an isolated area that is difficult to access (Woinarski 1992). As a consequence, no threatening processes appear to be acting on this population at present Existing Conservation Measures No management programs or recovery plans for the species are in existence. Slaters Skink is identified as a priority for conservation in the southern NT by Pavey (2002). Field surveys for the species have already commenced and are ongoing. Management priorities for the species in the NT are to: clarify and map its distribution; determine the impact of Buffel Grass invasion on its abundance, distribution and ecology; clarify its taxonomic status; and establish a captive population at the ASDP.

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