Title

Natural History and Conservation of Haly's Tree Skink (Dasia Haliana) in Dry Zone Forests of Sri Lanka

Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The endemic lizard Dasia haliana of Sri Lanka is considered an arboreal skink. There is little information on the natural history and distribution of this species. To fill-in such knowledge gaps of this endemic skink, we conducted a multi-year survey within the dry and intermediate climatic zones of Sri Lanka and conducted investigations on habitat associations, microhabitat use, foraging, behavior, and basic community structure. Their presence showed close affinities with relatively closed canopy with dappled sunlight, moderate humidity, and high substrate and ambient temperatures. While our study confirmed that D. haliana is primarily arboreal, the skink also occupied non-arboreal (terrestrial and sub-fossorial) habitats to a substantial extend, especially when inactive. We also emphasized the urgent need to promote conservation of D. haliana and other understudied, cryptic herpetofauna of Sri Lanka through a multitude of conservation actions including habitat management inside and outside the protected area network, conservation-driven ecological research, public outreach, and science-based policy revisions.

Original Citation

Karunarathna, S., Surasinghe, T., Madawala, M., Kandambi, D., Priyadarshana, T., & De Silva, A. (2016). Natural History and Conservation of Haly's Tree Skink (Dasia Haliana) in Dry Zone Forests of Sri Lanka. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 11(2), 272-279. Available at http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_11/Issue_2/Karunarathna_etal_2016.pdf