Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Irish lizards threatened by agriculture

Date:
September 25, 2010
Source:
Queen's University, Belfast
Summary:
A new ecological network is urgently needed in Northern Ireland to ensure the continued survival of its precious lizard population, according to researchers. Lizards are found in coastal areas, heath and boglands around Northern Ireland, but a new study has found their natural habitats may have been replaced through agricultural intensification.

A common lizard (Zootoca vivipara).
Credit: Copyright Aodan Farren, Quercus

A new ecological network is urgently needed in Northern Ireland to ensure the continued survival of its precious lizard population, according to researchers at Queen's University Belfast.

Related Articles


Lizards are found in coastal areas, heath and boglands around Northern Ireland, but a Queen's study, published in international journal Amphibia-Reptilia, has found their natural habitats may have been replaced through agricultural intensification.

"The fact that Northern Ireland has a lizard population will be news to many people. But most people are surprised and delighted when they spot them," according to Dr Neil Reid, Manager of Quercus, Queen's centre for biodiversity and conservation science.

"Unless we act quickly to establish a new ecological network that will preserve the connectivity of remaining heath and boglands, these reptiles could disappear from our landscape altogether."

Often associated with hotter countries, lizards in Northern Ireland can be seen in upland places such as the Sperrins, the Mourne Mountains, Antrim Plateau, Slieve Beagh (Fivemiletown) and West Fermanagh, and in lowland sites such as Peatlands Park in County Armagh. They can also be seen in coastal habitats such as sand dunes at Murlough National Nature Reserve in County Down or the Magilligan-Umbra-Downhill complex in County Londonderry.

Aodan Farren, the PhD student who led the study added: "We must now move to increase awareness of the lizard population in Northern Ireland and protect their habitats, which are continuing to be altered by conversion to agriculture, planting of forests (afforestation), development of links golf courses, invasive species and infrastructure development."

Explaining what to look for when trying to spot a lizard, Dr Reid said: "The lizards which are found in Northern Ireland are usually 12 centimetres (5 in) long, excluding the tail, which can be almost twice as long as the body. The colour and patterning of this species is remarkably variable with the main colour being typically mid-brown, but it can be also grey, olive brown or black.

The study also pointed to the need for a Northern Ireland Lizard Survey to help gather more information on the reptiles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University, Belfast. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Farren et al. Distribution of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and landscape favourability for the species in Northern Ireland. Amphibia-Reptilia, 2010; 31 (3): 387 DOI: 10.1163/156853810791769428

Cite This Page:

Queen's University, Belfast. "Irish lizards threatened by agriculture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100826083807.htm>.
Queen's University, Belfast. (2010, September 25). Irish lizards threatened by agriculture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100826083807.htm
Queen's University, Belfast. "Irish lizards threatened by agriculture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100826083807.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins