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Tasmanian fuel reduction program an Australian first

23/03/2015

Tasmanian communities will be safer from the threat of bushfires, with a ground-breaking new $28.5 million program of fuel reduction burns announced today.More

Three Capes Track hut contracts awarded

19/03/2015

Two Tasmanian companies have been awarded contracts worth a total of $6.5 million to construct the huts on the Three Capes Track.More

Temporary access changes for The Nut

18/03/2015

Access to the tracks at the summit of The Nut State Reserve at Stanley will be by the chairlift only, from Monday 23 March to Friday 27 March, 2015, due to safety works being undertaken on the Zig Zag track.

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Northern snow skink, Carinascincus greeni

Northern Snow Skink

Confined to Tasmania, the northern snow skink lives in alpine areas where it forages for insects amongst boulder fields and on rock faces. Like most Tasmanian lizards, northern snow skinks give birth to live young.

Description

he northern snow skink is dark above, each dorsal scale with a pale greenish to bronze spot. These spots often form narrow pale stripes along the body. The head is paler, generally patterned with darker spots. Northern snow skinks have a head and body length of 30-75 mm. The midbody scales are in 40-44 rows around the body.

Ecology

Northern Snow Skink

This is an alpine species restricted to isolated populations at high altitudes. Northern snow skinks occupy rocky habitats where they bask and forage on rock faces and scree slopes, sheltering in rock crevices. These skinks are often but not always found close to mountain streams, where they will occasionally enter water and hide beneath a submerged rock if threatened. Northern snow skinks are usually content to sit and wait until prey passes by, although individuals have been observed actively foraging for distances of 25 meters. This lizard is capable of raising its body temperature well above that of the air temperature. Differences between body temperature and air temperature as great as 14 degrees C have been recorded. Northern snow skinks have a preferred body temperature of 28.9 degrees C.

Breeding

Like all alpine skinks in Tasmania, the northern snow skink is live bearing, producing 2-4 young in March, usually only every two years. Females store sperm in the oviducts over winter until fertilisation of eggs occurs within the body in spring. Northern snow skinks reach maturity when they have a head and body length of about 54 mm.

Distribution

This endemic Tasmanian species is widespread across the higher areas of the Central Plateau, Ben Lomond National Park and Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park.

Status

Apparently secure.

Threats

Global warming could threaten northern snow skinks and many other alpine species.