The striped legless lizard is listed as Vulnerable in Australia under Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (8), meaning that permission must be obtained from the government for any activity which may impact on the species (2). The striped legless lizard is also listed as Vulnerable under regional legislation, including the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988) in Victoria, the Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995) in New South Wales, and the Nature Conservation Act (1980) in the Australian Capital Territory (4), and it is considered Endangered in South Australia (12).
A National Species Action Plan was devised in 1999, the main aim being the maintenance of long-term, viable, wild populations. Specific conservation objectives include increasing understanding of the species, establishing a series of reserves and managed areas, increasing community awareness, and using captive populations to support research and education (4). Regional Action Plans are also in place in Victoria (6), the Australian Capital Territory (7) and New South Wales (9). In 1998, Melbourne Zoo successfully bred the striped legless lizard in captivity for the first time, and captive-bred individuals have now been released into the Organ Pipes National Park (6).
Large-scale conservation of the striped legless lizard requires conservation of its lowland native grassland habitat, and thus this species’ National Action Plan is linked to the Action Plan for temperate grassland (7). Conservation of grassland habitat will also benefit other threatened species such as the bush stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) and the tessellated gecko (Diplodactylus tessellates) (16).