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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 / Conservation status of the world’s skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and geographic patterns in extinction risk

David G Chapple, Uri Roll, Monika Bohm, Rocio Aguilar, Andrew P Amey, Chris C Austin, Marleen Baling, Anthony J Barley, Michael F Bates, Aaron M Bauer, Daniel G Blackburn, Phil Bowles, Rafe M Brown, S.R. Chandramouli, Laurent Chirio, Hal Cogger, Guarino R Colli, Werner Conradie, Patrick J Couper, Mark A Cowan, Michael D Craig, Indraneil Das, Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Chris R Dickman, Ryan J Ellis, Aaron L Fenner, Stewart Ford, S.R. Ganesh, Michael G Gardner, Peter Geissler, Graeme R Gillespie, Frank Glaw, Matthew J Greenlees, Oliver W Griffith, L. L Grismer, Margaret L Haines, D. J Harris, S. B Hedges, Rod A Hitchmough, Conrad J Hoskin, Mark N Hutchinson, Ivan Ineich, Jordi Janssen, Gregory R Johnston, Benjamin R Karin, J. S Keogh, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Petros Lymberakis, Rafaqat Masroor, Peter J McDonald, Sven Mecke, Jane Melville, Sabine Melzer, Damian R Michael, Aurelien Miralles, Nicola J Mitchell, Nicola J Nelson, Truong Q Nguyen, Cristiano dC Nogueira, Hidetoshi Ota, Panayiotis Pafilis, Olivier S Pauwels, Ana Perera, Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, Robert N Reed, Marco A Ribeiro-Junior, Julia L Riley, Sara Rocha, Pamela L Rutherford, Ross A Sadlier, Boaz Shacham, Glenn M Shea, Richard Shine, Alex Slavenko, Adam Stow, Joanna Sumner, Oliver J Tallowin, Roy Teale, Omar Torres-Carvajal, Jean-François Trape, Peter Uetz, Kanishka D Ukuwela, Leonie Valentine, James U Van Dyke, Dylan van Winkel, Raquel Vasconcelos, Miguel Vences, Philip Wagner, Erik Wapstra, Geoffrey M While, Martin J Whiting, Camilla M Whittington, Steve Wilson, Thomas Ziegler, Reid Tingley, and Shai Meiri (2021)

Conservation status of the world’s skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and geographic patterns in extinction risk

Biological Conservation, 257:109101.

Our knowledge of the conservation status of reptiles, the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrates, has improved dramatically over the past decade, but still lags behind that of the other tetrapod groups. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive evaluation (~92% of the world’s ~1714 described species) of the conservation status of skinks (Scincidae), a speciose reptile family with a worldwide distribution. Using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria, we report that ~20% of species are threatened with extinction, and nine species are Extinct or Extinct in the Wild. The highest levels of threat are evident in Madagascar and the Neotropics, and in the subfamilies Mabuyinae, Eugongylinae and Scincinae. The vast majority of threatened skink species were listed based primarily on their small geographic ranges (Criterion B, 83%; Criterion D2, 13%). Although the population trend of 42% of species was stable, 14% have declining populations. The key threats to skinks are habitat loss due to agriculture, invasive species, and biological resource use (e.g., hunting, timber harvesting). The distributions of 61% of species do not overlap with protected areas. Despite our improved knowledge of the conservation status of the world’s skinks, 8% of species remain to be assessed, and 14% are listed as Data Deficient. The conservation status of almost a quarter of the world’s skink species thus remains unknown. We use our updated knowledge of the conservation status of the group to develop and outline the priorities for the conservation assessment and management of the World's skink species.
Peer Review, Impact Factor
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