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The native herpetofauna of Tasmania, though a small part of the rich Australian fauna, is ecologically and biogeographically distinctive. It contains 31 terrestrial species and six marine species. Among the terrestrial fauna nine species (29 per cent of the fauna) are endemic. Only one species, Nioveoscincus palfreymani, is considered to be threatened.

Habitat for most species is well reserve d but human impacts on unreserved land have reduced the amount of available habitat for some specie s (e.g., Utoria raniformis) and these need monitoring. Distributional and abundance data are incomplete for almost all species, although amphibian and reptile atlases, currently under preparation by the Parks and Wildlife Service, should improve this situation considerably.

The highest priority for action to conserve the fauna is for the State Government to pass legislation to protect native species. Actions to conserve the fauna as well as recent attempts to exploit it are summarized.

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