PROTECTING THE ARNHEM LAND GORGES SKINK
Photo: Chris Jolly
Arnhem Land gorges skink (Bellatorias obiri). Photo: Chris Jolly
CONSERVING THE SPECIES
This project will support on-ground activities essential to the recovery of the Arnhem Land gorges skink.
The aims of the project are to undertake targeted surveys for the skinks to find if they still occur at historical sites, work out the best survey methods to use to detect the species, and try and understand more about their habitat requirements and potential threats.
The information we compile on the current distribution of the Arnhem Land gorges skink, and effective approaches surveying for them, can then be used by land managers to implement targeted management and an ongoing targeted monitoring program for the species.
This project is a collaboration between TNRM, Kakadu National Park, Charles Darwin University, NT Government, Macquarie University, and Curtin University and is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) will collaborate with Rangers and Traditional Owners from Kakadu National Park and surrounding areas, land managers, scientists, and other experts to deliver a project that will improve the conservation outcomes for the species.
ABOUT THE ENDANGERED ARNHEM LAND GORGES SKINK - NGALKADBJA
The Arnhem Land gorges skink – Ngalkadjba in Kunwinjku – is one of Australia’s most threatened species. This reptile is listed as endangered, and without intervention is at high risk of becoming extinct in the next 20 years.
There are only a small number of historical records for the species but they indicate an extensive decline of the species’ occurrence. The skink is currently only confirmed to persist at one location. Their decline is thought to be caused by frequent high-severity fire and predation by feral cats.
What do they look like?
The Arnhem Land gorges skink is a large robust lizard with a body length up to 20 cm, and total length (including their tail) up to around 40 to 50 cm. They are light to rich brown in colour, often with irregular darker flecks and blotches sides of the head and black barring on the chin.
Where do they live?
They are a rock-dwelling lizard, living in rock crevices in areas that are often difficult to access and search. The skinks are restricted to rugged, sandstone outcrops along the western edge of the Arnhem Plateau. Almost all historical records are from Kakadu National Park.