Alpine she-oak skink. Photo GeoffRobertson, NatureMapr | CC BY 3.0 AU

Alpine she-oak skink. Photo GeoffRobertson, NatureMapr | CC BY 3.0 AU


Alpine she-oak skink

Cyclodomorphus praealtus
Endangered: Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, IUCN RedList (IUCN 2018), Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

The alpine she-oak skink only exists in a very small, unique part of Australia, and its habitat is being seriously degraded.

In 2018 it was found that feral horses are driving vegetation changes that negatively affect skinks living in sub-alpine habitat. Current impacts from grazing and trampling have led to the direct loss of individuals and further fragmentation of populations. Degradation of habitat can eliminate the species from an area, and can divide formerly connected populations, inhibiting the critical flow of genetic diversity.

As a result of exclusively occupying a narrow altitudinal range and specific habitat requirements, alpine she-oak skinks are limited to a highly restricted range and have a reduced capacity to escape once their habitat has fragmented.

The removal of feral horses that graze and trample habitat is essential to the survival of the alpine she-oak skink.



  • NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2011) Alpine She-oak Skink Cyclodomorphus praealtus: endangered species listing NSW Scientific Committee final determination
  • Koumoundouros T, Sumner J, Clemann N, Stuart-Fox D (2009) Current genetic isolation and fragmentation contrasts with historical connectivity in an alpine lizard (Cyclodomorphus praealtus) threatened by climate change. Biological Conservation 142, 992-1002.
  • Rebecca C. Cherubin, Dr Susanna E. Venn, Dr Tim S. Doherty, Professor Don Driscoll and Dr Euan G. Ritchie (2018) Feral horse impacts on a threatened lizard and nationally endangered ecological community in Victorias sub alpine region, Feral Horse Impacts: The Kosciuszko Science Conference – Conference Abstracts, Australian Academy of Science, The Australian National University and Deakin University, Canberra.