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Fly Neighbourly Advice for the Tasman National Park

24/08/2019

Public comment is invited on the draft Tasman National Park Fly Neighbourly Advice. The draft Fly Neighbourly Advice has been prepared by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service in response to increasing air traffic over the Tasman National Park.More

Hybrid diesel-electric shuttle buses at Cradle Mountain - a first for National p

19/08/2019

When you next visit Cradle Mountain you will be able to step aboard one of the new hybrid, diesel-electric, shuttle buses on your trip to Dove Lake. These new buses will reduce emissions and deliver a quieter, all mobility friendly, visitor experience.More

AFAC Independent Operational Review of the 2018-19 bushfires

08/08/2019

Following the 2018-19 bushfires the Tasmanian Government commissioned an independent report by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Council to review the overall response and identify areas where more can be done to improve the State's response andMore

Mountain skink, Carinascincus orocryptus

Photograph by Alex Dudley
Mountain skinks, like all Tasmanian alpine species of skink, give birth to live young. They usually live amongst low subalpine vegetation and will climb onto low bushes and tree trunks to bask.

Description

This long-limbed species usually has a strong black vertebral stripe on a brown background, and a white midlateral stripe along either side of the body. Dark dorsal flecking on the back tends to align lengthwise. Mountain skinks can be distinguished from Tasmanian tree skinks by the markings on the back, which do not contain the whitish flecks usually present on the Tasmanian tree skink.

Mountain skinks can be very similar to southern snow skinks but can usually be distinguished by the presence of a vertebral stripe and a white midlateral stripe on the mountain skink. On a number of mountain ranges in southern Tasmania mountain skinks and southern snow skinks may interbreed and distinguishing the two can be very difficult. For a photograph of a Hartz mountain specimen click here. It is best to identify such alpine skinks by their locality. The frontoparietals are fused to form a single shield. Midbody scales in 28-32 parallel rows, scales on the back as long as wide.

Ecology

The ecology of the mountain skink has not been studied in any depth. Although this species is found in rocky areas, it tends to bask and forage for invertebrates amongst low vegetation. In some areas this species is found alongside the southern snow skink, which tends to utilise the rock surfaces far more than the mountain skink. In the Hartz Mountains area, a population of snow skinks occurs which appears intermediate betwen the mountain skink and the southern snow skink. In the Hartz Mountain population the skinks tend to be more closely associated with dense vegetation than rocks, although both habitats are utilised.

Breeding

Mountain skinks give birth to 3-4 young.

Distribution

Found from high altitudes in the south and west down to sea level in the south-west and western Tasmania. Also found in rainforest fringes at Cradle Mountain. The species was originally described from Mount Eliza, on the Mount Anne Trail.

Status

Secure

Threats

Global warming could threaten many alpine species.