National Recovery Plan for the Desert Sand-skipper (Croitana aestiva)
Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport, 2010
- National Recovery Plan for the Desert Sand-skipper (Croitana aestiva) (PDF - 284 KB) | (RTF - 814 KB)
The Desert Sand-skipper Croitana aestiva (family Hesperiidae) is a small, brown butterfly with distinct, pale yellow markings. It is one of only two butterflies endemic to central Australia. This species is classified as 'Endangered' both under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and in the Northern Territory under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000.
This species is restricted to the MacDonnell Ranges IBRA region up to about 80 km west of Alice Springs, in the southern arid region of the Northern Territory. Much of the known distribution is contained within the West MacDonnell National Park. Its persistence in central Australia is linked to the sheltered, relatively protected habitat in the Chewings Range. Research has revealed seven relatively closely spaced extant populations and two possibly extinct historical populations. The phenology of this species is driven by rainfall.
The desert sand-skipper faces a range of current and potential threats such as: climate change, invasion by exotic weeds, exposure to fire, impacts of feral animals, tourism impacts and illegal collection. This plan outlines these threats and the actions required to help maintain or improve the conservation status of this species.