Three reptile species go extinct in Australia
Lister’s gecko, the blue-tailed skink and the Christmas Island forest-skink were downgraded from “critically endangered” to “extinct in the wild” in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) latest report.
Three species of reptiles located in Australia on Christmas Island have recently been declared extinct! Scientists are still trying to determine the cause of their demise but have yet to find the answer.
While the last known Christmas Island forest skink, nicknamed Gump, died in captivity in 2014. Sadly, this species of skink is believed to be the first Australian native reptile to be lost forever.
The Lister’s gecko and the blue-tailed skink were declared extinct in the wild, and were nearly wiped off the face of the plant, their numbers had plummeted since the 1990s. Some scientists believe that the decline was seen when the wolf snake population increased and they feel that there was a coloration between the two. The snake is thought to have invaded the island by boat. To prevent wolf snakes from snacking on the lizards and to safeguard their survival 66 blue-tailed skinks and 43 Lister’s geckos were captured in 2009 and 2010. This amazing conservation effort has brought them back from the brink. As of May in 2017 their numbers had soared to 1473 skinks and 804 geckos in captivity on Christmas Island and at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
Their goal is to reach 5000 of each species by 2024 to retain genetic diversity. Blue-tailed skinks took the first step towards returning to the wild in April when they were released into a 1/4 hectare snake-free enclosure.
Would you like to see a species of skink that looks very similar to the one that has gone extinct? We have a beautiful Blue-tongued skink named Scooter! Book a show and have a close encounter with Scooter and many other amazing reptiles from Australia and from around the world!