All reptiles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it illegal to intentionally kill or injure a common lizard. Although the common lizard is not threatened, studies show that in recent years’ their numbers have declined.
Where can you find the common lizard?
The common lizard is found in heathland, commons, sea cliffs, moorland, woodland and rough grassland.
How to identify a common lizard?
- Common lizards are mostly olive-green with black, brown and yellow markings.
- Their heads are distinctively pointed.
- Lizards can grow up to 15cm long, including their tail and have an average lifespan of 12 years.
- Males have yellow or orange undersides with black spots and females have a white, pale yellow, grey or greenish underside, usually with no spots.
- Juvenile common lizards are less than 5cm long and are very dark in colour.
- Lizards are often mistaken for newts, which are similar in appearance but slow moving and often hide during the day. Lizards in comparison, move very quickly.
What does their diet consist of?
The common lizards’ main prey are insects, spiders, snails and earthworms.
Who are their predators?
Common lizards are vulnerable to a number of predators including foxes, crows, domestic cats and hawks as well as other reptiles.
Ecological consultancy services:
Our ecologists have experience in undertaking reptile surveys where lizards have been found and well-practised with handling lizards as part of road, rail and development projects. Surveys typically comprise 7 survey visits undertaken between April/May and September in suitable weather conditions and involve installing artificial refuges in the form of squares of bitumen felt or corrugated tin under which lizards congregate to warm up. If lizards are found to be present, mitigation solutions can include:
- Installation of temporary or permanent reptile exclusion fencing this is often combined with translocating reptiles to an alternative site either off site or in a designated area on site
- Habitat manipulation by way of reducing the habitat e.g. grassland to encourage reptiles to disperse to the boundaries or a designated site
Talk to one of our experts about reptile surveys for your project
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