Home-range characteristics of an alpine lizard, Niveoscincus microlepidotus (Scincidae), on Mt Wellington, southern Tasmania

Jane Melville, Roy Swain

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14 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the home ranges of the alpine skink, Niveoscincus microlepidotus, in an alpine transition zone on Mt Wellington, Tasmania, over a 5-month period to examine seasonal patterns in the home-range characteristics of four male, four female and two sub-adult juvenile lizards. Home-range sizes and activity patterns within these were quantified. Adult males had significantly larger home ranges with more activity centres than adult females; most activity centres were clearly synonymous with basking sites and were defended by overt aggressive behaviour. Home ranges of males showed little overlap and no seasonal variation while those of femals were unusual amongst reptiles in showing extensive overlap and seasonal change in size. Ranges were smallest in spring when all females were pregnant and were smallest in summer when only one female was pregnant. Range overlap ensured that all females studied had potential access to at least two males. Juveniles had no defined home ranges and appeared to be transients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalWildlife Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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