Endangered Status The Blue-tailed Mole Skink, a subspecies of the Mole Skink, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened in Florida, where it lives only in Polk and Highlands
Counties. This skink's habitat, of small pockets within larger sand pine scrub and sandhill areas, was substantially modified during the 20th century by citrus farming and residential, commerical, and recreational
development. The skink declined as the area developed. Fire suppression has also affected this habitat. Naturally occurring wildfires keep a habitat in check; without regular fires a habitat will overgrow and eventually
change into a different habitat type. This has happened in the Blue-tailed Mole Skink's habitat, limiting the places this creature can live. Sand skinks (Neoseps reynoldsi) and bluetail mole skinks (Eumeces egregius lividus)
are found in interior peninsular Florida. Both species are most commonly associated with habitat dominated by xeric vegetation such as oak-dominated scrub, turkey oak barrens, high pine, and xeric hammocks
. Skinks typically occur in habitats that contain a mosaic of open sandy patches interspersed with forbs, shrubs. and trees. Although sand skink tracks are most typically observed in open sandy areas, both species
utilize a variety of other micro-habitats within xeric vegetative communities. Areas containing extensive rooted vegetation within this matrix may preclude sand skink movement and are less likely to be used by skinks.
0They appear to be most abundant in the ecotone between areas with abundant leaf litter and vegetative cover and adjacent open sands. Suitable bluetail mole skink habitat is restricted to xeric uplands within the Lake
Wales Ridge in Highlands, Osceola, and Polk counties. Sand skink habitat occurs within the Lake Wales Ridge but is also found on the Winter Haven Ridge in Polk County and the Mount Dora Ridge in Lake. Marion,
Orange, and Putnam counties.