Newly-discovered lizard under threat

2012-10-29 14:50

(Scientists have announced the discovery of a new s)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Scientists announced on Monday the discovery of a new species of lizard fighting to survive among the sand dunes outside Perth in Western Australia.

They fear it is only a matter of time before the 6cm long Ctenotus ora, or the coastal plains skink, will be extinct with urban sprawl rapidly closing in.

The discovery, detailed in the journal Zootaxa, took place during research south of the city to determine the levels of biological diversity in southwestern Australia.

“The discovery of a new species is a momentous occasion in science,” said Geoffrey Kay, an ecologist from the Australian National University who found the lizard with colleague Scott Keogh.

“To find something as yet undetected, so close to one of the country's largest cities, demonstrates how much we've still got to discover.”

But he warned of the real threat to the reptile.

“Although it's a fantastic discovery, it's poor cause for celebration. Our new lizard is under serious risk of being erased just as suddenly as it appeared to us,” he said.

“Only a few of these lizards have ever been found in the wild, so while we know numbers are low, we are not sure of the exact size of the remaining population.”

The small stretch of sand the brown and white skink calls home is steadily being concreted.

“Developments along the coastline near Perth need to consider this new lizard and potentially a large number of other species yet to be discovered in this diverse part of the world,” added Kay.

Southwestern Australia is recognised as one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, alongside places such as Madagascar, the tropical jungles of West Africa, and Brazil's Cerrado.

“We've known for a long time that the southwest has an outstanding diversity of plants, as exhibited by its stunning wildflowers,” said Kay.

“But only now with this research are we seeing that the level of diversity in animals, in particular reptiles, is far deeper and more extreme than we previously imagined.” 
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.