Options beyond captivity for two critically endangered Christmas Island reptiles

Date: 23, Aug, 2017
Author(s):   Nicki Mitchell, John Woinarski, Jon-Paul Emery, Leonie Valentine, Harold Cogger, Brendan Tiernan, Samantha Flakus, Kent Retallick, Renata de'Jonge
Publisher: TSR Hub

The blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko are endemic to, and were once common on Christmas Island but became extinct in the wild over the last 1-2 decades. The cause of decline was not definitively proven, but most likely was predation by the introduced wolf snake. Fortunately, some individual geckoes and skinks were taken from the wild before extinction, and these have formed the basis of a successful captive breeding program. This project is contributing to Parks Australia’s management, by evaluating options for these two species outside captivity, particularly 1) introduction to exclosures on Christmas Island where introduced predators are controlled, and/or 2) introduction to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.