This critically endangered skink was once widespread on Christmas Island.
The blue-tailed skink is a small, slender lizard. It has a brown body and a striking light blue tail.
The skink can lose its tail when threatened, and the bright blue colouring is thought to draw a predator’s attention away from the rest of the body,
Blue-tailed skinks forage during the middle of the day, feeding on insects and other small invertebrates.
Endemic to Christmas Island, they were found all over the island until the late 20th century, including in settled areas. However, introduced predators have ravaged the population and the blue-tailed skink is now extinct in the wild.
A captive breeding program has brought these unique reptiles back from the brink of extinction with the hope of reintroducing them into their native habitat.