Sunday, 25 March 2012

Research: Green Lizard

A scary thought hit me that I am graduating in a couple of months and I will need to find a job to fund my wildlife photography. However, all I can think about is what wildlife to shoot this summer and what projects I want to do in the future!
After graduation I will move back to Jersey so I thought it would be good to start a project on Jerseys wildlife.
Jersey is home to some unique wildlife that may not be found anywhere else in Britain; The agile frog, lesser white-toothed shrew, the Jersey bank vole (a litter bigger than UK bank vole), green and wall lizards and also the red squirrel, which I have been working on all year.

I have been researching these species over the past couple of weeks now and today I decided to head to the west coast to see if I could find any green lizards. Although it isn't summer quite yet, the sun was shining so I thought I might have a chance of seeing them basking on rocks and metal sheets that have been placed on the ground for them.

Lizards are cold-blooded and therefore rely on heat from the sun or hot surfaces to digest their food and move around. Rocks and these metal sheets absorb heat from the sun, allowing it to stay warm for a long period of time. This is great for the lizards, because not only does it keep them warm but it gives them cover from predators like the populous Kestrels and Marsh Harriers.

Female Green Lizard

In total I found 4 green lizards in the area. When lifting the sheets of metal I made sure I placed it back where it was and the lizard was only exposed briefly.
 Come summer these Lizards will be a lot easier to photograph because they will be basking on rocks in the sun, so I won't be causing any disturbance.

Jersey is the only place is the whole of the British Isles where Green Lizards are native. However, they are increasingly under threat, for more information see the Jersey Green Lizard Project -

  • Always put the wildlife before yourself; if the wildlife appears agitated and scared - leave it alone.
  • Keep noise levels to a minimum
  • Do not overcrowd the species
  • Research the species before photographing it.

To look at my other work, scroll to the 'older post' button on the bottom right.


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