Plan to save Pink-tailed Worm-lizards progresses


A progress report on the ACT Government’s Pink-tailed Worm-lizard Action Plan shows that the ACT’s work to save the threatened species is having a positive effect.

Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said that this globally threatened species is benefitting from the action plan that outlines detailed conservation and protection requirements for the species.

“Today’s five-year implementation progress report shows that our action plan is helping the Pink-Tailed Worm-lizard and that our hard work is slowly paying off,” Minister Vassarotti said. “The species is a small, worm-like, legless lizard which lives in ant burrows under rocks and can be difficult to find.

“The Molonglo River Reserve established in 2019 protects the largest known population of Pink-tailed Worm-lizards in Australia, with approximately 6.5 hectares of Pink-tailed Worm-lizard habitat created across the reserve. The restored habitat has improved connectivity between previously fragmented populations of the species.

“Our monitoring across 30 sites is indicating that the Worm-lizard population is stable, with 74 animals detected in 2019, an increase from the 61 animals in 2014.

“The current monitoring method involves rolling habitat rocks, which has a negative impact on habitat condition, so we are currently undertaking trials to develop a low impact monitoring method that will allow for more frequent monitoring.”

The implementation progress report for the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard is available on the Environment website.

Quotes attributable to ACT Conservator of Flora and Fauna Ian Walker:                   

“The main way that Pink-tailed Worm-lizard populations are managed in the ACT is through the management of suitable rocky habitat for this species. The Molonglo River Reserve has been extensively surveyed and other areas of the Murrumbidgee River Corridor are a priority for future survey efforts. Research on population monitoring methods and habitat requirements, particularly vegetation structure, and the impacts of grazing and fire management on habitat quality, will continue through collaboration with universities and trusts like Ginninderry’s.”