Keepers and conservationists at Wildwood Trust have recently taken delivery of 4 of Britain’s rarest lizards.
The Sand lizards which were believed to have gone extinct in Kent in the 1970’s, will be bred at the Canterbury based wildlife conservation charity with a view to reintroducing them to their former range.
The sand lizards – an endangered UK species – survived in Kent until the 1970’s on sand dunes and one of the last reported sightings was next to Herne Bay close to the Wildwood Animal park.
The species has gone through major decline due to habitat loss, with their coastal dune and heathland habitats becoming increasingly fragmented by agricultural expansion and building developments.
But a captive breeding and reintroduction programme is now helping the lizards to make a comeback across the UK and Wildwood has now joined forces with leading conservation charities to play its role in the sand lizard’s comeback.
Sand lizards are the UK’s rarest lizard and populations in some areas are so low that we can’t just rely on protecting the site, we have to help breed them to boost their numbers.
The Lizards came from Chester zoo who have already pioneered the breeding and reintroduction of sand lizards to areas they have gone extinct.
Wildwood’s Paul Whitfield who collected the lizards said:
“It is a great honour to have these precious animals entrusted to our care. After we have bred them in controlled conditions in our Conservation Centre there will be a chance for visitors to see the sand lizards in a large enclosure we are building that mimics their natural habitat and will help us breed more for the future.”