Study

Somewhat saved: a captive breeding programme for two endemic Christmas Island lizard species, now extinct in the wild

  • Published source details Andrew P., Cogger H., Driscoll D., Flakus S., Harlow P., Maple D., Misso M., Pink C., Retallick K., Rose K., Tiernan B., West J. & Woinarski J.C.Z. (2018) Somewhat saved: a captive breeding programme for two endemic Christmas Island lizard species, now extinct in the wild. Oryx, 52, 171-174.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Bring threatened wild populations into captivity

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Breed reptiles in captivity: Lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Bring threatened wild populations into captivity

    A replicated study in 2009–2016 in two captive-breeding programmes on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Australia (Andrew et al. 2018) found that after bringing wild Lister’s geckos Lepidodactylus listeri and Christmas Island blue-tailed skinks Cryptoblepharus egeriae into captivity, populations were maintained successfully in four of four cases. Results were not statistically tested. On Christmas Island, populations of Lister’s gecko grew from 50 in 2012 to 500 in 2016, and populations of blue-tailed skinks grew from 150 in 2012 to 750 in 2016. At Taronga zoo, populations of Lister’s gecko (70 in 2011 and 70 in 2016) and blue-tailed skinks (100 in 2011 and 220 in 2016) remained relatively stable. In 2009, all Lister’s geckos and blue-tailed skinks that could be found on Christmas Island were brought into captivity. From these wild-caught individuals and their offspring, 56 geckos and 83 skinks were transported to Taronga, and the remaining 70 geckos and 109 skinks were maintained at facilities on Christmas Island. Captive management aimed to maximise retention of genetic diversity (see paper for more details).

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

  2. Breed reptiles in captivity: Lizards

    A replicated study in 2009–2016 in two captive-breeding facilities on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia (Andrew et al. 2018) found that captive populations of Lister’s geckos Lepidodactylus listeri and Christmas Island blue-tailed skink Cryptoblepharus egeriae increased in size at one captive-breeding facility and remained relatively stable at the other. Results were not statistically tested. On Christmas Island, captive populations of Lister’s geckos grew from 50 in 2012 to 500 in 2016, and captive populations of blue-tailed skinks grew from 150 in 2012 to 750 in 2016. At Taronga zoo, populations of Lister’s geckos (70 in 2011 and 70 in 2016) and blue-tailed skinks (100 in 2011 and 220 in 2016) remained relatively stable. In 2009, all Lister’s geckos and blue-tailed skinks that could be found on Christmas Island were brought into captivity. From these wild-caught individuals and their offspring, 56 geckos and 83 skinks were transported to Taronga Zoo, and the remaining 70 geckos and 109 skinks were maintained at facilities on Christmas Island. Captive management aimed to maximise retention of genetic diversity (see paper for more details).

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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