The Guthega Skink is endangered in Victoria and is only found on the Bogong High Plains.
Another population lives near Mt Kosciusko in NSW, but these two populations have not been connected for millions of years. This little lizard makes its home in alpine tussock grasslands, heathlands and snow gum woodlands. Small and well camouflaged, it lives in family groups. The female gives birth to live young and they are thought to live for at least eight years.
Habitat disturbance caused by grazing cattle and feral horses is a major threat to the Guthega Skink. As their population exists in a restricted area they are also very vulnerable to fire. Large bushfires in the region have killed many skinks and destroyed the understorey vegetation that protects them from predators. Skinks living in alpine areas are also threatened by climate change.
The plan for fighting extinction
Along with our partners, we successfully bred a Guthega Skink in captivity at Healesville Sanctuary in late 2017—the first one ever to be born in captivity! This breeding program will help us to rescue and recover Guthega Skinks if bushfire, or any other major threat, endangers the wild population.
How you can help
- Do what you can to create community awareness and support for the Guthega Skink.
- By visiting Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo, you will be 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.