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Smoke at The Neck Campground, Bruny Island

17/04/2014

The Neck Campground on Bruny Island remains open this Easter. However there is a considerable amount of smoke in the vicinity of the camping ground following this week's fuel reduction burn.More

Fuel reduction burn at Risdon Vale

16/04/2014

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) will undertake a planned burn of 136 ha at Risdon Vale, Hobart, tomorrow, weather permitting.More

Macquarie Island free of pests

08/04/2014

The Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project has been declared a success.More

Tasmanian Tree Skink, Niveoscincus pretiosus

Tasmanian Tree Skink

The Tasmanian tree skink is a widespread and adaptable lizard found only in Tasmania. It is an excellent climber usually found on trees. Tasmanian tree skinks feed on small invertebrates.

Description

The Tasmanian tree skink is a long-limbed species with a fairly flattened head and a distinctive dark upper lateral band running back from the snout. This band is bordered below by a narrow, ragged-edged, white midlateral stripe. This species also possesses a narrow black vertebral stripe down the centre of the back. The Tasmanian tree skink has a head and body length of 44-57mm, with a tail 119-144 percent of the head and body length. Adults have a vague to moderately intense pinkish orange flush on belly and underside of tail. The scales of this species are small, being tiny on the flanks. This species usually has whitish flecks on the back. The Tasmanian tree skink is superficially similar to the metallic skink which has larger scales and the mountain skink which lacks whitish flecks on the back.

Ecology

Skink

The long limbs of this skink gives the species excellent climbing abilities, allowing it to exploit a number of different habitats. It is found from tall forests to rocky shorelines where it may be seen foraging amongst beachwashed kelp. In forested areas Tasmanian tree skinks live in trees old enough to develop hollows, often at considerable heights. This species also shelters under bark and within crevices in logs. In rocky areas the species occurs in rock crevices. On the west coast, Tasmanian tree skinks have been observed foraging on the sand between rock outcrops, feeding on amphipods. Reports have been received that this species shelters and overwinters communally, large numbers of this species occasionally being found together in rock crevices and cracks in logs and tree stumps. This attractive skink feeds on invertebrates including insects, spiders and sand hoppers. Occasionally they will eat plant material, including the nectar of flowers.

Breeding

Like many of the more widespread small skinks, this species breeds every year. They are live bearing, with 1-3 young being born in February. Larger females tend to have more young.

Distribution

Although a Tasmanian endemic, this species is widely distributed across the State, including the following offshore Islands: De Witt Island, Maatsuyker, Flat (Mutton Bird) Island, Louisa Island, Flat Witch Island, Ile Du Golfe, Maria Is., Schouten Is., The Mewstone, Walker Island, Hobbs (Green) Island and Trumpeter Island.

Status

Secure.

Threats

This species appears secure, although it may be eaten by cats.