The 20 Most Imperiled Australian Reptiles Predicted to Disappear By 2040
The main threats to these reptiles are invasive species (weeds and non-native predators) agriculture, fire and climate change.
Researchers in Australia have released a list of reptiles that they say will disappear in just 20 years if no action is taken to protect them. The reptiles, all snakes and lizards, are restricted in range. Three of the species occur on islands and the rest are endemic to a single state in the country, with 55 percent of the reptiles found in Queensland. Two species are found in Western Australia and one species each live in the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and New South Wales.
“Australia hosts approximately 10% of the world’s reptile species, the largest number of any country,” the researchers wrote in their paper, “Reptiles on the brink: identifying the Australian terrestrial snake and lizard species most at risk of extinction.”
“Despite this and evidence of widespread decline, the first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of Australian terrestrial squamates (snakes and lizards) was undertaken only recently.”
The main threats to these reptiles are invasive species (weeds and non-native predators) agriculture, fire and climate change. The researchers say that government needs to increase resources for these reptiles and must develop management action plans to avoid an impending extinction of these species.
Species,Scientific name,Extinction probability,State,IUCN status, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act status
- Victoria grassland earless dragon,Tympanocryptis pinguicolla,93,Vic,N/A,Endangered
- Fassifern blind snake ,Anilios insperatus ,75,Qld,Critically endangered,Not listed
- Lyons grassland striped skink,Austroblepharus barrylyoni ,71,Qld,Critically endangered,Not listed
- Arnhem Land gorges skink,Bellatorias obiri ,69,NT,Critically endangered,Endangered
- Bathurst grassland earless dragon,Tympanocryptis mccartneyi,62,NSW,N/A,Endangered*
- Gravel Downs ctenotus,Ctenotus serotinus ,52,Qld,Critically endangered,Not listed
- Allan’s lerista,Lerista allanae ,46,Qld,Critically endangered,Endangered
- Christmas Island blind snake,Ramphotyphlops exocoeti ,41,CI,Endangered,Vulnerable
- Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko,Saltuarius eximius,39,Qld,Endangered,Not listed
- Mount Surprise slider,Lerista storri,37,Qld,N/A,Not listed
- McIlwraith leaf-tailed gecko,Orraya occultus,31,Qld,Vulnerable,Not listed
- Pinnacles leaf-tailed gecko,Phyllurus pinnaclensis,28,Qld,Critically endangered,Not listed
- Condamine earless dragon,Tympanocryptis condaminensis,25,Qld,Endangered,Endangered
- Lake Disappointment dragon,Ctenophorus nguyarna ,21,WA,Vulnerable,Not listed
- Roma earless dragon,Tympanocryptis wilsoni ,19,Qld,Endangered,Not listed
- Lake Disappointment ground gecko,Diplodactylus fulleri ,18,WA,Vulnerable,Not listed
- Canberra Grassland earless dragon,Tympanocryptis lineata ,18,ACT,N/A,Endangered*
- Christmas Island forest gecko,Cyrtodactylus sadleiri ,17,CI,Endangered,Endangered
- Lancelin Island ctenotus,Ctenotus lancelini ,17,WA (Lancelin Island),Critically endangered,Vulnerable
- Limbless fine-lined slider,Lerista ameles ,15,Qld,Endangered,Not listed
*As part of T. pinguicolla. IUCN status refers to the official international listing. The EPBC Act status refers to its official Australian listing. N/A means it’s unassessed due to recent taxonomic revision or description.