Found in only a few locations in Victoria and NSW, the Alpine She-oak Skink is listed as endangered.

It lives 1500m above sea level at the top of isolated mountain habitats. Alpine She-oak Skinks will imitate a snake if threatened, pulling their legs in close to their body and flicking their tongues. They hibernate over winter and are known to live for more than five years in the wild.

Major threats

Fire is a huge danger to the Alpine She-Oak Skink. It kills individual skinks and destroys the understory vegetation. This makes any survivors vulnerable to predators.

Climate change is obviously a threat to all alpine areas. So is grazing and trampling by cattle and feral horses. The skink's habitat is also disturbed by the construction and maintenance of ski resorts and roads.

The plan for fighting extinction

Zoos Victoria is developing captive-breeding and husbandry procedures for the Alpine She-oak Skink. This will help us to rescue animals when there is a serious threat, such as bushfire, to a wild population.

How you can help

  • Create community awareness and support for the Alpine She-oak Skink. Research the ways you can work on reducing your carbon footprint and take action.
  • Visit our zoos. By visiting Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo, you are supporting our work to fight extinction.
  • Discover more about local conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for local wildlife.

The Alpine She-oak Skink can be seen at Healesville Sanctuary. 

Population Trend:
Number left in the wild:
Four populations in Victoria

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX