Irish lizard survey gets underway
IT may not be common
knowledge but Ireland has a native lizard - and
you're being asked to help count them.
A survey to collect data on the country's only
native reptile – the common lizard - got underway
The citizen science project will also gather data on
the non-native slow worm - a limbless, snake-like
lizard, illegally introduced to The Burren from the
UK in the 1970s.
The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) initiative aims to
monitor the populations of both creatures as they
come out of hibernation and breed over the coming
The common lizard is roughly the length of a pen
(13cm) and can be found in Irish bogs, grassland,
hills and coastal regions all over the country.
It is green-brown in colour and survives on insects,
spiders and snails.
It is a rare in the reptile world in that it gives
birth to live young where most reptiles lay eggs
And while they may look like snakes, the slow worm
is actually a legless lizard.
It can grow up to 50cm in length in adulthood and is
green-brown with grey spots.
Both the common lizard
and slow worm are heat lovers and are occasionally
spotted basking on rocks in the sun.
The IWT is now inviting members of the public to
submit any sightings they may have of either species
during their hill walks or rambles along the coast.
A number of volunteers are also being trained for a
more focused surveillance of the creatures.
The initiative is part of the IWT National Reptile
Co-ordinator, Kieran Flood, said: "With help from
the public we will be able to map where our reptiles
are found and track increases or decreases in their
populations." Details of sightings can be sent to