The northern prairie skink (taxonavigation) of Manitoba, Canada is disappearing from the cold landscape. Although apparently thriving in the United States, fewer remain up north and the little critter was officially deemed endangered by the federal government in 2004 and is currently under review by the Endangered Species Advisory Committee.
Much of this increased awareness was directly influenced by the work of one citizen scientist, Errol Bredin, who has spent most of his life since childhood chasing down the quick little lizard, who has the ability to loose and regrow its tail if pulled too hard.
Now, a new Internet-based community group has been formed called “S.O.S” … “Save Our Skinks” … with key member, Doug Collicutt, the publisher of the Nature North e-zine. S.O.S is calling on the local citizenry to report rare skink sightings and support Skinkfest to raise additional awareness. An organized citizen science-based program is not yet developed, but they are certainly looking for more support to grow the program.
Dr. Pamela Rutherford at Brandon University is also formally studying the species, and is planning to use technology to help record underground skink activity that has never been seen before. Coupled with the potential amateurs in the area, a clear picture of skink survivability can be determined with the hope of saving the species from further decline over the next decade.
“Endangered Species: Canada’s Rarest Reptile – ‘Darn hard to study, the little beggars'” :: globandmail.com:: July 12, 2008 :: [ READ ]
Learn more about skinks and the interesting S.O.S prgram.