Common name :

Le scinque du maquis Maruia

Red List Status -

Vulnerable (VU) , assessed in 11/12/2017

Protected species -

in Southern Province , in Northern Province

Phasmasaurus maruia is listed as Vulnerable because it has a restricted distribution with an estimation of 7 locations. Its extent of occurrence is estimated at 737 km2 and its area of occupancy at 40 km2 with a continuing decline in the area and quality of its habitat due to on-going mining activities and habitat degradation caused by wildfires and invasive species.

Geographical area

This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known from seven localities on the central west coast of Grande Terre from Plateau de Tia in the north to Mé Adéo in the south. It occurs at elevations from 160 to 1,000 m. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated at 737 km2 and the area of occupancy (AOO) at 40 km2.


No quantitative data are available on population size and trends for this species. It is expected to have suffered a significant reduction in population size and extent in the past with habitat loss from mining on the ultramafic massifs and habitat degradation resulting from the recurrent wildfires that sweep through the maquis shrublands. It is still locally common at some sites, especially those on cuirasse surfaces.


This species inhabits rocky maquis on ultramafic massifs. It is diurnal, terrestrial and is active in sunlight. It shelters beneath stones and in rock and soil crevices. It forages in the open and on rock surfaces; usually basks on rocks.


The most serious threats to Phasmasaurus maruia are from further loss of maquis habitat resulting from the expanding mining on the ultramafic peaks on the central west coast, from habitat degradation caused by wildfires and pigs, and predation pressure from feral cats (Palmas 2017). Predation by rodents (Thibault 2017) may also be an issue.


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 not present in any reserves and no conservation management is currently being undertaken.


Morat, P.; Jaffré, T.; Tronchet, F.; Munzinger, J.; Pillon, Y.; Veillon, J.-M. and Chalopin, M. 2012. Le référentiel taxonomique Florical et les caractéristiques de la flore vasculaire indigène de la Nouvelle-Calédonie [The taxonomic database « FLORICAL » and characteristics of the indigenous flora of New Caledonia]. Adansonia sér 3(34) , p.177-219.

Hallé N.; Aubréville A.; Leroy J. F.; 1977. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et dépendances. Volume 08 : Orchidaceae. 2016. Faune et Flore de Nouvelle-Calédonie.


Assessor(s): Laudereau, C., Butin, J., Antheaume, C., Cazé, H., Cazé, H., Fleurot, D., Garnier, D., Gâteblé, G., Maura, J.

Reviewer(s): Tanguy, V.

Facilitator(s): Tanguy, V., Maura, J.

Geographical distribution