Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Distribution and population genetic structure of the critically endangered skink Nangura spinosa, and the implications for management

Adrian C. Borsboom A D , Patrick J. Couper B , Andrew Amey B and Conrad J. Hoskin C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sciences, Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, Qld 4066, Australia.

B Biodiversity, Queensland Museum, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, Qld 4101, Australia.

C Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: adrian.borsboom@derm.qld.gov.au

Australian Journal of Zoology 58(6) 369-375 https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO10070
Submitted: 13 October 2010  Accepted: 22 December 2010   Published: 14 February 2011

Abstract

Many threatened species occur as small, isolated populations. Understanding the extent and genetic distinctiveness of these populations is essential for management. Nangura spinosa is a critically endangered skink known from two small populations in dry rainforest in south-east Queensland. We conducted targeted surveys between 2001 and 2010 at the two known N. spinosa sites (Nangur National Park, Oakview National Park area) and in 22 nearby forest blocks with potentially suitable habitat. N. spinosa was found only at the two previously known sites, which are ~36 km apart. The skink appears to be declining at Nangur NP, to an estimated extent of occurrence of 7.4 ha and potentially no more than 35 adults. In contrast, we increase the extent of occurrence at Oakview to 360 ha, where the population is at least in the hundreds. Sequencing of two mtDNA genes revealed considerable genetic divergence between the two populations (3.8% for ND4; 1.2% for 16S), suggesting an extended period of separation. Population fragmentation is therefore not the result of recent land clearing, but of long-term isolation by unsuitable habitat. Each population should be considered a distinct management unit. More data are required on population size and trends, recruitment and threats, particularly for the Nangur population.

Additional keywords: dry rainforest, phylogeography, surveys, threatened species.


References

Avise, J. C. (2004). ‘Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution.’ 2nd edn. (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)

Bell, R. C., Parra, J. L., Tonione, M., Hoskin, C. J., MacKenzie, J. B., Williams, S. E., and Moritz, C. (2010). Patterns of persistence and isolation indicate resilience to climate change in montane rainforest lizards. Molecular Ecology 19, 2531–2544.
| 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXpslahurc%3D&md5=44a422171f411b20448d3155e8538271CAS | 20497322PubMed | open url image1

Berry, O., and Gleeson, D. M. (2005). Distinguishing historical fragmentation from a recent population decline – shrinking or pre-shrunk skink from New Zealand? Biological Conservation 123, 197–210.
Distinguishing historical fragmentation from a recent population decline – shrinking or pre-shrunk skink from New Zealand?CrossRef | open url image1

Borsboom, A. C., Smyth, G., and Rider, E. (2005). The rare Queensland skink Nangura spinosa: surveys, distribution, habitat, threats, management and conservation status. Report to the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Broadbent, J., and Clarke, S. (1976). A faunal survey of east Australian rainforests. Interim report to the Australian Museum, Sydney.

Covacevich, J. A., Couper, P. J., and James, C. (1993). A new skink, Nangura spinosa gen. et sp. nov., from a dry rainforest of southern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34, 159–168. open url image1

DERM (2010). National recovery plan for the Nangur spiny skink Nangura spinosa. Draft report to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.

DEWAH (2009). Nangura spinosa EPBC listing. Available at www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=59550 [accessed 28 September 2010].

Hannah, D., Hamley, B., and Hogan, L. (1997). New information on the narrowly-restricted skink, Nangura spinosa. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42, 90. open url image1

Hoffmann, A. A., and Willi, Y. (2008). Detecting genetic responses to environmental change. Nature Reviews. Genetics 9, 421–432.
Detecting genetic responses to environmental change.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXlvFKrtLw%3D&md5=3e322099d99d77066e0170339cf12f64CAS | 18463665PubMed | open url image1

Horsup, A., James, C., and Porter, G. (1993). Vertebrates of dry rainforest of south and mideastern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34, 215–228. open url image1

Hoskin, C. J., Couper, P. J., and Schneider, C. J. (2003). A new species of Phyllurus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) and a revised phylogeny and key for the Australian leaf-tailed geckos. Australian Journal of Zoology 51, 153–164.
A new species of Phyllurus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) and a revised phylogeny and key for the Australian leaf-tailed geckos.CrossRef | open url image1

Hudson, Q. J., Wilkins, R. J., Waas, J. R., and Hogg, I. D. (2000). Low genetic variability in small populations of New Zealand kokako Callaeas cinera wilsoni. Biological Conservation 96, 105–112.
Low genetic variability in small populations of New Zealand kokako Callaeas cinera wilsoni.CrossRef | open url image1

IUCN (2010). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Ver. 2010.1. Available at www.iucnredlist.org [accessed 28 September 2010].

Lada, H., Thompson, J. R., Mac Nally, R., and Taylor, A. C. (2008). Impacts of massive landscape change on a carnivorous marsupial in south-eastern Australia: inferences from landscape genetics analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology 45, 1732–1741.
Impacts of massive landscape change on a carnivorous marsupial in south-eastern Australia: inferences from landscape genetics analysis.CrossRef | open url image1

Macey, J. R., Wang, Y., Ananjeva, N. B., Larson, A., and Papenfuss, T. J. (1999). Vicariant patterns of fragmentation among geckkonid lizards of the genus Teratoscincus produced by the Indian collision: a molecular phylogenetic perspective and an area cladogram for central Asia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 12, 320–332.
Vicariant patterns of fragmentation among geckkonid lizards of the genus Teratoscincus produced by the Indian collision: a molecular phylogenetic perspective and an area cladogram for central Asia.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXksVOisrk%3D&md5=f4e9b8409878eea298d7976cc6ce3b79CAS | 10413626PubMed | open url image1

Morgan, M. J., Hunter, D., Pietsch, R., Osborne, W., and Keogh, J. S. (2008). Assessment of genetic diversity in the critically endangered Australian corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree and Pseudophryne pengilleyi, identifies four evolutionarily significant units for conservation. Molecular Ecology 17, 3448–3463.
| 19160475PubMed | open url image1

Moritz, C. (2002). Strategies to protect biological diversity and the processes that sustain it. Systematic Biology 51, 238–254.
Strategies to protect biological diversity and the processes that sustain it.CrossRef | 12028731PubMed | open url image1

Moritz, C., Patton, J. L., Schneider, C. J., and Smith, T. B. (2000). Diversification of rainforest faunas: an integrated molecular approach. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31, 533–563.
Diversification of rainforest faunas: an integrated molecular approach.CrossRef | open url image1

Moritz, C., Hoskin, C., Graham, C. H., Hugall, A., and Moussalli, A. (2005). Historical biogeography, diversity and conservation of Australia’s tropical rainforest herpetofauna. In ‘Phylogeny and Conservation’. (Eds A. Purvis, J. L. Gittleman and T. Brooks.) pp. 243–264. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)

Moritz, C., Hoskin, C. J., MacKenzie, J. B., Phillips, B. L., Tonione, M., Silva, N., VanDerWal, J., Williams, S. E., and Graham, C. H. (2009). Identification and dynamics of a cryptic suture zone in tropical rainforest. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 276, 1235–1244.
Identification and dynamics of a cryptic suture zone in tropical rainforest.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD1M3jsFWmug%3D%3D&md5=bd84f687b94f0bf9ee42709db23ef6b9CAS | open url image1

O’Connell, N., and Slatkin, M. (1993). High mutation rate loci in a subdivided population. Theoretical Population Biology 44, 110–127.
High mutation rate loci in a subdivided population.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DyaK3szmvFOrsQ%3D%3D&md5=69c569353ec41522effdfce0cea1b400CAS | 8362365PubMed | open url image1

O’Connor, D., and Moritz, C. (2003). A molecular phylogeny of the Australian skink genera Eulamprus, Gnypetoscincus and Nangura. Australian Journal of Zoology 51, 317–330.
A molecular phylogeny of the Australian skink genera Eulamprus, Gnypetoscincus and Nangura.CrossRef | open url image1

Palumbi, S. R. (1996). Nucleic Acids II: the polymerase chain reaction. In ‘Molecular Systematics’. (Eds D. M. Hillis, C. Moritz and B. K. Mable.) pp. 205–246. (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)

Pope, L. C., Estoup, A., and Moritz, C. (2000). Phylogeography and population structure of the ecotonal marsupial, Bettongia tropica, determined using mtDNA and microsatellites. Molecular Ecology 9, 2041–2053.
Phylogeography and population structure of the ecotonal marsupial, Bettongia tropica, determined using mtDNA and microsatellites.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXot1Oksg%3D%3D&md5=4fc972e870fc2948c8d8e4c521fb38a3CAS | 11123617PubMed | open url image1

Queensland Herbarium (2009a). Survey and Mapping of 2006b Vegetation Communities and Regional Ecosystems of Queensland. Ver. 6.0b (November 2009). Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.

Queensland Herbarium (2009b). Survey and Mapping of Pre-clearing Vegetation Communities and Regional Ecosystems of Queensland. Ver. 6.0b (November 2009). Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.

Reeder, T. W. (2003). A phylogeny of the Australia Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relationships. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27, 384–397.
A phylogeny of the Australia Sphenomorphus group (Scincidae: Squamata) and the phylogenetic placement of the crocodile skinks (Tribolonotus): Bayesian approaches to assessing congruence and obtaining confidence in maximum likelihood inferred relationships.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXjs1Wnu7g%3D&md5=b47827c9deee1ba01b64063aee2ea2b5CAS | 12742744PubMed | open url image1

Sattler, P. S., and Williams, R. D. (eds) (1999). ‘The Conservation Status of Queensland’s Bioregional Ecosystems.’ (Environmental Protection Agency: Brisbane.)

Simmons, J. M., Sunnucks, P., Taylor, A. C., and van der Ree, R. (2010). Beyond road-kill, radiotracking, recapture and FST – a review of some genetic methods to improve understanding of the influence of roads on wildlife. Ecology & Society 15, 9–24. open url image1

Stuart-Fox, D. M., Schneider, C. J., Moritz, M., and Couper, P. J. (2001). Comparative phylogeography of three rainforest-restricted lizards from mid-east Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 49, 119–127.
Comparative phylogeography of three rainforest-restricted lizards from mid-east Queensland.CrossRef | open url image1

Sumner, J., Jessop, T., Paetkau, D., and Moritz, C. (2004). Limited effect of anthropogenic habitat fragmentation on molecular diversity in a rainforest skink, Gnypetoscincus queenslandiae. Molecular Ecology 13, 259–269.
Limited effect of anthropogenic habitat fragmentation on molecular diversity in a rainforest skink, Gnypetoscincus queenslandiae.CrossRef | 14717885PubMed | open url image1

Swofford, D. L. (2003). ‘PAUP*: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (* and other methods). Version 4.’ (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)

Weatherzone (2010). Murgon mean rainfall and temperature chart produced by Weatherzone. Available at http://weather.thewest.yahoo.com.au/local-climate-history/qld/murgon [accessed 28 September 2010].

Wilson, S. (1994). Unknown lizard makes a name for itself. Geo 16, 68–76. open url image1



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Supplementary MaterialSupplementary Material (13.6 MB) Export Citation