Common name :Le scinque léopard de Nouvelle Calédonie New Caledonian Leopard Skink
Red List Status -Vulnerable (VU) , assessed in 11/12/2017
Protected species -in Southern Province , in Northern Province
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is known from six locations with a continuing decline in its area of occupancy, extent and quality of its habitat and the number of mature individuals due to a variety of threats.
This species is endemic to Province Sud, New Caledonia. It is known from eight localities from Thio, near Camp des Sapins, to the Forêt Nord in the southern Grande Terre. It occurs at elevations between 250 and 900 m. The extent of occurrence is estimated at 713 km2 and the area of occupancy at 24 km2.
There are no quantitative data on population size and trends for this species. It is presumed that the past wildfires and logging that have affected large parts of the Plaine des Lacs region have reduced the extent of habitat for Lacertoides pardalis and led to a reduction in and fragmentation of the population. Afforestation projects may also have removed habitat. The development of nickel mines is also causing further habitat loss.
This species inhabits peridotite outcrops in maquis shrubland and on forest margins. It is diurnal, terrestrial and is active in sunlight. It lives in deep rock crevices, and basks and forages on rock faces.
The populations of Lacertoides pardilis on the Goro and Camp de Sapins regions are under high threat of habitat loss as a result of the expanding nickel mines. All localities are highly threatened by habitat loss and degradation from wildfires and predation pressure from feral cats (Palmas 2017). The other threats are the predation pressure from rodents (Thibault 2017) and the effect of high-density populations of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata.
This species is protected in Province Nord under Code de l'environnement de la Province Nord (Délibération No. 306-2008/APN, 24 October 2008) and in Province Sud under Code de l'environnement de la Province Sud (Délibération No. 25-2009/APS, 20 March 2009). It is present in the Réserve Naturelle de la Foret Nord and the Parc Provincial de la Rivière bleue.
Sadlier, R.A., Shea, G.M. and Bauer, A.M. 1997. A new genus and species of lizard (Squamata, Scincidae) from New Caledonia, southwest Pacific. Zoologia Neocaledonica 4, Mémoires du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle(179) , p.379-385.
Palmas, P., Jourdan, H., Rigault, F., Debar, L., De Meringo, H., Bourguet, E., Mathivet, M., Lee, M., Adjouhgniope, R., Papillon, Y. and Bonnaud, E. 2017. Feral cats threaten the outstanding endemic fauna of the New Caledonia biodiversity hotspot. Biological Conservation(214) , p.250-259.
IUCN 2021. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-2.
Uetz, P. (ed.) 2017. The Reptile Database.
Bauer, A.M. and Sadlier, R.A. 2000. The Herpetofauna of New Caledonia.
Thibault, M., Brescia, F., Vidal, E. and Jourdan, H. 2017. Invasive rodents, an overlooked threat for skinks in a tropical island hotspot of biodiversity. New Zealand Ecological Society(41) , p.74-83.
Jourdan, H., Sadlier, R.A. and Bauer, A.M. 2001. Little Fire Ant Invasion (Wasmannia auropunctata) as a threat to New Caledonian lizards: Evidences from a sclerophyll forest (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology(38) , p.283-301.
Jourdan, H., Sadlier, R.A. and Bauer, A.M. 2000. Premières observations sur les conséquences de l’invasion de Wasmannia auropunctata 1863 (Roger) sur les prédateurs supérieurs dans les écosystèmes Néo-calédoniens. Actes des collectes insectes sociaux(13) , p.121-126.
Assessor(s): Sadlier, R., Bauer, A., Jourdan, H., Astrongatt, S., Deuss, M., Duval, T., Bourguet, E., McCoy, S., Bouteiller, A., Lagrange, A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.
Contributor(s): Whitaker, A.
Facilitator(s): Lietar, J., Warimavute, G., Tanguy, V.