Long and short term residence in refuge burrows by endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards

in Amphibia-Reptilia
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) is an endangered species which is restricted to native grassland remnants in South Australia. Individuals live in vertical burrows with a single entrance from which they ambush invertebrate prey. We monitored marked burrows over two entire spring-summer seasons, the period when the lizards are active, and found that the population contained a mixture of dispersers that remained in a burrow briefly, and residents that occupy a burrow for the entire study period. There were more females than males among the residents and most of the burrow abandonment happened in the early spring, the time when male lizards probably move around to seek matings. Our study described burrow occupancy dynamics, and will assist the conservation management of this endangered species.


Publication of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica



BarclayJ.H. (2008): A simple artificial burrow design for burrowing owl. J. Raptor Res. 42: 53-57.

BullC.M.FreakeM.J. (1999): Home-range fidelity in the Australian sleepy lizard, Tiliqua rugosa. Aust. J. Zool. 47: 125-132.

Bureau of Meteorology (2012): Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology. Available at http://www.bom.gov.au/ [verified 18 September 2012].

DuffieldG.A.BullC.M. (2002): Stable social aggregations in an Australian lizard, Egernia stokesii. Naturwissenschaften 89: 424-427.

EbrahimiM.SchofieldJ.A.BullC.M. (2012): Getting your feet wet. Responses of the endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) to rain induced burrow flooding. Herpetol. Note 5: 297-301.

EbrahimiM.BullC.M. (2014): Resources and their distribution can influence social behaviour at translocation sites: lessons from a lizard. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 156: 94-104.

EbrahimiM.GodfreyS.S.FennerA.L.BullC.M. (2015): Mating behaviour in pygmy bluetongue lizards: do females ‘attract’ male lizards? Aust. J. Zool. 62: 491-497.

FellowsH.L.FennerA.L.BullC.M. (2009): Spiders provide important resources for an endangered lizard. J. Zool. 279: 156-163.

FennerA.L.BullC.M.HutchinsonM.N. (2008a): Injuries to lizards: conservation implications for the endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis). Wildl. Res. 35: 158-161.

FennerA.L.SchofieldA.J.SmithA.L.BullC.M. (2008b): Observations of snake predation on the pygmy bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis. Herpetofauna 38: 105-109.

FennerA.L.BullC.M. (2011): Central-place territorial defence in a burrow-dwelling skink: Aggressive responses to conspecific models in pygmy bluetongue lizards. J. Zool. 283: 45-51.

FennerA.L.GodfreyS.S.BullM.C. (2011): Using social networks to deduce whether residents or dispersers spread parasites in a lizard population. J. Anim. Ecol. 80: 835-843.

FennerA.L.PaveyC.R.BullC.M. (2012): Behavioural observations and use of burrow systems by an endangered Australian arid-zone lizard, Slater’s skink (Liopholis slateri). Aust. J. Zool. 60: 127-132.

FordhamD.A.WattsM.J.DeleanS.BrookB.W.HeardL.M.B.BullC.M. (2012): Managed relocation as an adaptation strategy for mitigating climate change threats to the persistence of an endangered lizard. Global Change Biol. 18: 2743-2755.

GibbonsP.LindenmayerD. (2002): Tree Hollows and Wildlife Conservation in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

HutchinsonM.N.MilneT.CroftT. (1994): Redescription and ecological notes on the pygmy bluetongue, Tiliqua adelaidensis (Squamata: Scincidae). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 118: 217-226.

KerrD.G.BullC.M.BurzacottD. (2003): Refuge sites used by the scincid lizard Tiliqua rugosa. Austral Ecol. 28: 152-160.

KrebsJ.AshcroftR.WebberM. (1978): Song repertoires and territory defence in the great tit. Nature 271: 539-542.

MacdonaldD.W.WillisK.J. (2013): Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2. Wiley, Chichester, UK.

MilneT.BullC.M. (2000): Burrow choice by individuals of different sizes in the endangered pygmy blue tongue lizard Tiliqua adelaidensis. Biol. Conserv. 95: 295-301.

MilneT.BullC.M.HutchinsonM.N. (2003): Use of burrows by the endangered pygmy blue-tongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis (Scincidae). Wildl. Res. 30: 523-528.

PettigrewM.BullC.M. (2012): The response of pygmy bluetongue lizards to simulated grazing in the field during three drought years. Wildl. Res. 39: 540-545.

PettigrewM.BullC.M. (2014): Prey capture behaviour by pygmy bluetongue lizards with simulated grazing. N. Z. J. Ecol. 38: 45-52.

SchofieldJ.A.FennerA.L.PelgrimK.BullC.M. (2012): Male-biased movement in pygmy bluetongue lizards: implications for conservation. Wildl. Res. 39: 677-684.

SchofieldJ.A.GardnerM.G.FennerA.L.BullC.M. (2014): Promiscuous mating in the endangered Australian lizard Tiliqua adelaidensis: a potential windfall for its conservation. Conserv. Genet. 15: 177-185.

SouterN.J.BullC.M.HutchinsonM.N. (2004): Adding burrows to enhance a population of the endangered pygmy blue tongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis. Biol. Conserv. 116: 403-408.

SouterN.J.BullC.M.LethbridgeM.R.HutchinsonM.N. (2007): Habitat requirements of the endangered pygmy bluetongue lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis. Biol. Conserv. 135: 33-45.

StampsJ.A.KrishnanV.V. (1994): Territory acquisition in lizards: II. Establishing social and spatial relationships. Anim. Behav. 47: 1387-1400.


  • Records of occupancy of burrows by adult pygmy bluetongue lizards over two complete field seasons.

    View in gallery


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 7 7 5
Full Text Views 7 7 7
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0