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 March 29, 2015 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 March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) — Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
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