Conservation photos, Part VIII: Skinks

Skinks. Australia is crawling with them, figuratively and literally. At last count we had 339 species. 339 species! And yet the richness of species is only half the story. Australia has a skink for every occasion. Giant skinks and miniature skinks. Skinks that live half of their lives in the alpine deep freeze, and others that toil through the harshest desert heat. Skinks that scale trees in a blistering flash, and others that have lost all but the last vestige of their limbs. Skinks whose days are spent cavorting in tight-knit family units, and others who are murderously territorial. Skinks saturated with colour, and skinks whose camouflage is near impregnable. Skinks whose range extends over hundreds of square kilometers, and others that persist nowhere else but a speck of granite in the Southern Ocean. You would be hard pressed to find a more diverse radiation than the Australian Scincidae…

Eastern Robust Slider, Lerista punctatovittata. Big Desert, Victoria

Eastern Robust Slider, Lerista punctatovittata. Big Desert, Victoria

South-west Crevice Skink, Egernia napoleonis. Albany, Western Australia

South-west Crevice Skink, Egernia napoleonis. Poorongorup NP, Western Australia

Boulenger's Skink, Morethia boulengeri. Mansfield, Victoria

Boulenger’s Skink, Morethia boulengeri. Mansfield, Victoria

White's Skink, Liopholis whitii, Grampians National Park, Victoria

White’s Skink, Liopholis whitii. Grampians NP, Victoria

Ctenotus brachyonyx, Ouyen, Victoria

Ctenotus brachyonyx. Ouyen, Victoria

Tussock Skink, Pseudemoia pagenstecheri. Craigieburn, Victoria

Tussock Skink, Pseudemoia pagenstecheri. Craigieburn, Victoria

Ragged Snake-eyed Skink, Cryptoblepharus pannosus. Murray-Sunset NP, Victoria

Ragged Snake-eyed Skink, Cryptoblepharus pannosus. Murray-Sunset NP, Victoria

Southern Grass Skink, Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii. Mt Baw Baw NP, Victoria

Southern Grass Skink, Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii. Mt Baw Baw NP, Victoria

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