Dr Michael Bates continues to serve as a member of the Skink Specialist Group, part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission. Michael was a co-author of the group’s first publication, led by Prof. David Chapple, titled ‘Conservation status of the world’s skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and geographic patterns in extinction risk’. The article was published earlier this year in the reputable scientific journal Biological Conservation. It was determined that about 20% of the world’s skink species are threatened with extinction, and nine species are either fully extinct or extinct in the wild. As much as 61% of all skink species are currently not protected in nature reserves.
Text: Dr Michael F. Bates l Department of Animal and Plant Systematics l National Museum
Image: Gronovi’s Dwarf Burrowing Skink (𝘚𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘪) from the south-western Cape, one of over 1 700 species of skinks (family Scincidae) worldwide. Skinks represent about one-quarter of all lizard species and include typical four-limbed lizards as well as snake-like species, some without limbs. Photo courtesy of Tyrone Ping