Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Oligosoma lichenigera
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010) [Recovery Plan] as Oligosoma lichenigera.
 
Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2007b) [Recovery Plan] as Oligosoma lichenigera.
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement advice for predation, habitat degradation,competition and disease transmission by feral pigs (2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014p) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of exotic rodents on biodiversity on Australian offshore islands of less than 100 000 hectares 2009 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009u) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened reptiles. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.6 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011m) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Pseudemoia lichenigera.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (11/04/2007) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007f) [Legislative Instrument] as Oligosoma lichenigera.
 
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list) as Oligosoma lichenigera
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Vulnerable (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Oligosoma lichenigera [82034]
Family Scincidae:Squamata:Reptilia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author  
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Leiolopisma lichenigerum [1370]
Pseudemoia lichenigera [59159]
Cyclodina lichenigera [77358]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Lord Howe Island Skink is a rich metallic-bronze/olive lizard growing to 8 cm with small brown flecks/streaks aligned longitudinally, often with brown spots on the head, a pale golden stripe from above the eye to the base of the tail bordered by darker brown on the upper body usually enclosing pale spots, a white/grey throat with dark greyish-brown flecks and pale/dark brown limbs (Cogger 2000).

Former distribution of this species included Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island and their small offshore islands in the Pacific Ocean. It currently appears to be extinct on Norfolk Island, but still occurs on nearby Phillip Island (Cogger et al. 1993). Surveys on Phillip Island found few active individuals at night and located most individuals by searching under boulders, logs and litter during the day. The encounter rate of both active searching and pitfall trapping was low, possibly indicating a low population density. A one-night pitfall trapping survey captured eight individuals. A three-night mark-recapture survey for the Lord Howe Island Gecko Christinus guentheri on Fisherman's Hut Rock, Phillip Island, located only 10 skinks (Cogger et al. 1979).

Early accounts from Lord Howe Island indicate that this species was quite common and widespread (Cogger 1971). Currently it appears to be restricted to a very small area around Malabar and Signal Point (C. Leary in Cogger et al. 1993; Cogger et al. 1993). Within the Lord Howe Island complex, it also occurs on Blackburn (Rabbit) Island and Ball's Pyramid. It is likely to occur on all of the Admiralty Islets, but is only confirmed as present on Roach Island (Cogger et al. 1993). A one hour search on an Admiralty Islet found eight individuals, suggesting that they were quite common (Cogger 1971).

Also appears as Leiolopisma lichenigerum in the literature (Cogger et al. 1993).

In general, it occurs in closed forest, low open woodland, tussock grassland, littoral complex and rocky isolates (Cogger et al. 1993). On Phillip I. it is found in a wide range of habitats from bare eroded slopes to dense thickets of African Olive and amongst the roots of dense tussocks of graminoids such as Moo-oo (Cyperus haematodes) and the native Flax (Phormium tenax) (Cogger et al. 1993).

On the Lord Howe I. mainland they appear restricted to a single, rare habitat type behind Lagoon Beach at the base of Signal Point, and at the base of Malabar. The habitat consists of honeycombed beachrock partially embedded in the soil, surrounded by Howea palm forest in which there is a thick layer of humus formed by palm and other leaf litter. The surfaces of the rocks are pitted with holes averaging 1 - 2 cm in diameter, tunneling deep into the matrix of the rock. Some tunnels join to form larger chambers. The tunnels appear to provide the only safe shelter site for lizards from vertebrate predators. The surrounding humus provides many invertebrate prey items (Cogger 1971).

On Blackburn I. skinks were found to be common under loose basalt boulders on slopes on the northern leeward side of the island, especially around the bases of low trees (Cogger 1971).

This is a nocturnally active species on both island complexes (Cogger et al. 1979). No active lizards were found in a survey during June, however active individuals have been observed on Ball's Pyramid during Nov. (Cogger 1971).

A climbing party observed one individual on Ball's Pyramid to roll a tern egg down a rock slope until it broke then feed on the contents (Cogger 1971).

Two gravid females collected from Phillip I. at the end of Nov. laid two and three eggs on 9 Dec. (Cogger et al. 1979). One egg hatched on 14 Feb., with an incubation time of 68 days (at room temperature averaging 25°C) (Cogger et al. 1983).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus exulans (Pacific Rat, Polynesian Rat) Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2007b) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales (Coutts-Smith, A.J., P.S. Mahon, M. Letnic & P.O. Downey, 2007) [Management Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation Lampropholis delicata (a skink) Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC), 2007b) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006pz) [Internet].

Cogger, H.G. (1971). The reptiles of Lord Howe Island. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. 96 (1):23-40.

Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia - 6th edition. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

Cogger, H.G., E.E. Cameron & R.A. Sadlier (1979). The terrestrial reptiles of islands in the Norfolk Island complex. The Terrestrial Reptiles of Islands in the Norfolk Island Complex. Page(s) 1-122. ANPWS. ANPWS, Canberra.

Cogger, H.G., E.E. Cameron, R.A. Sadlier & P. Eggler (1993). The Action Plan for Australian Reptiles. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/action/reptiles/index.html.

Cogger, H.G., R.A. Sadlier & E.E. Cameron (1983). The terrestrial reptiles of Australia's island territories.:50-52. ANPWS. ANPWS, Canberra.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Oligosoma lichenigera in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:58:14 +1000.