Nannoscincus manautei Sadlier, Bauer, Whitaker & Smith, 2004

Common name :

Le scinque nain de Manauté

Red List Status -

Critically Endangered (CR) , assessed in 11/12/2017

Protected species -

in Southern Province , in Northern Province

Nannoscincus manautei is listed as Critically Endangered because it is known from a single massif (actively mined) where it is confined to closed forest, with an extent of occurrence and an area of occupancy estimated at 12 km2. There is a severe threat from ongoing mining activity that is reducing the area of occupancy, extent and quality of habitat and the number of mature individuals. There are also some threats from invasive species.

Geographical area

This species is endemic to Province Nord, New Caledonia. It is known only from four sites on the summit of the isolated ultramafic Kopéto massif on the central west coast of Grande Terre. It occurs at elevations between 750 and 1,000 m. The extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy are estimated to be 12 km2.


There are no quantitative data on population size and trends for this species but it appears to be localized and uncommon. It is assumed to have suffered a significant reduction in area of occupancy as a result of the removal of closed montane forest associated with the extensive nickel mining that has occurred at upper elevations on Kopéto.


This species inhabits closed montane forest. It is cryptozoic, semi-fossorial; terrestrial. It shelters beneath logs, stones and litter, and forages through leaf litter.


There is a major threat to Nannoscincus manautei from further habitat loss arising from the expansion of nickel mining on the Kopéto–Paéoua massif. Habitat degradation by introduced ungulates (deer and pigs), leading to lower humidity, and from pigs disturbing the litter layer and cover are other significant concerns. There may be a low level of risk from wildfires in the adjacent maquis shrublands damaging forest margins reducing the forest extent of small forest remnants. The invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata has also recently been recorded at high level on the massif but its potential impact is unknown as ant populations are unlikely to flourish at that elevation.


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. It is recommended that additional prospections are carried in order to identify key habitats to be protected from the mining activities.


Uetz, P. (ed.) 2017. The Reptile Database.

IUCN 2021. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-2.

Sadlier, R.A., Bauer, A.M., Whitaker, A.H. and Smith, S.A. 2004. Two New Species of Scincid Lizards (Squamata) from the Massif de Kopéto, New Caledonia. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences(55) , p.208-221.


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., Tanguy, V., Warimavute, G.

Geographical distribution