Behavioural observations and use of burrow systems by an endangered Australian arid-zone lizard, Slater's skink (Liopholis slateri)

Aaron Fenner, Christoph Pavey, Christopher Bull

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The endangered Slater's skink (Liopholis slateri) is restricted to the river floodplain habitat of central Australia. It is an obligate burrower and creates complex, multientrance burrow systems in the mound of soil that builds up around the base of some shrubs and small trees. We provide detailed information about the behaviour and use of the burrow systems by Slater's skink. The behaviour of lizards remained consistent over the four months (October-January) of the study, and lizards performed almost all of their daily activities around their burrow/mound systems. Lizards also showed signs of sociality, as pairs of lizards were observed to share occupancy of single burrow systems over extended periods, and demonstrated a high level of tolerance to conspecifics. This study emphasises the importance of the burrow systems for the daily life of this lizard and suggests that conservation measures should focus on ensuring that the lizards have a reliable supply of stable and suitable burrows in their preferred habitat.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-132
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
    Volume60
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Behaviour
    • Conservation
    • Desert
    • Egernia
    • Scincid

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