Western Spiny-tailed Skink (Egernia stokesii) Recovery Plan
Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation , 2012
The Spiny-tailed or Gidgee Skink, Egernia stokesii has a wide but patchy distribution, occurring in the southern NT, eastern SA, south-west and central Queensland and Western Australia. At present, four subspecies are generally recognized; E. stokesii stokesii, E.s. aethiops and E.s. badia are all restricted to WA, while E. s. zellingi refers to central and eastern Australian populations. This recovery plan is concerned only with those populations that occur within Western Australia and includes the recognised subspecies; Egernia stokesii stokesii, E. s. badia and E. s. aethiops. Of these only E. s. badia and E. s. aethiops are listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.
Known threats include:
- The clearance of habitat for mining, mining infrastructure and farming (particularly in remnant woodlands in the WA wheatbelt)
- Degradation of existing habitat due to rising water tables and salinisation, grazing by rabbits, feral goats and domestic stock
- Discontinuation or modification of natural processes (such as fire) that generate hollows, logs and regenerate woodlands
- Firewood collecting that removes logs and hollow trees
- Removal of alternative refugia such as rubbish piles, abandoned farm houses and infrastructure (e.g. piles of railway sleepers)
The objective of this plan is to improve the conservation status and ensure the long-term survival of the three identified taxa in the E. stokesii complex through increased knowledge and understanding of the taxa, the protection of habitat and the abatement of threats.