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Irish lizard survey gets underway 09.04.16

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 this week.
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 weeks.
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 during reproduction.
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 Survey 2015-2017.
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 iwtresearch@gmail.com .
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