Quick lizard: a unique species, endangered

The quick lizard is a unique species that belongs to the family of true lizards (Lacertidae) and the squamous order (Squamata). This species has aesthetic and educational value and is endangered. In this article we will talk about the agile lizard, its features, habitats, abundance, biology and conservation measures.

Field signs of a quick lizard

The agile lizard is a green lizard whose body length can be up to 28 cm including the tail. Males are larger than females. The body color and pattern is variable: juveniles are brownish-gray or brown above, while adult males are olive or green, and females are brown or brownish-brown. In adult lizards, one or two rows of dark brown or completely black spots of irregular shape appear along the ridge.

Distribution and habitats

The range of the quick lizard covers the forest, forest-steppe, steppe and semi-desert zones of Eurasia. It is found from southern Great Britain and eastern France in the west to the northern Baikal region and southern Transbaikalia in the east. In the Tomsk region, the northern boundary of the species range passes and coincides with the 1600 °C isotherm. The northernmost finds were found near the town of Kolpashev and in the valley of the river. Keti (settlement Central).

Populations of the quick lizard are often isolated from each other. The species is common in steppe areas and edges, along roads in pine forests and sparse forests. It tends to the anthropogenic landscape: it inhabits clearings, orchards and orchards, roadsides of roads and railways, drained raised bogs, banks of artificial canals and dams, ameliorative ramparts. In the river valley The Ob and its tributaries are found on well-drained sandy ridges under pine and mixed forests, on steep cliffs of floodplain terraces, and on the southern slopes of ravines.

The number of quick lizard

The density of the population of the agile lizard varies depending on the habitat. In the floodplain forests of the southern taiga, which are rarely flooded during floods, the density of the species is 24 individuals per 1 ha, and in copses alternating with grain fields – three, in subtaiga forests it is common on undersized rows of raised bogs – nine, in birch-aspen and pine forests – six, in the floodplains of large rivers – two, in the northern forest-steppe in birch-aspen forests – five, in copses alternating with grain fields, and in pine forests – two individuals per 1 ha. Rare in the floodplains of large rivers – 0.4 per 1 ha.

Biology of the quick lizard

The agile lizard is a diurnal animal that uses rodent burrows, rock heaps, old tree stumps, or digs its own burrows as shelters. In spring, it appears on the surface in the third decade of April – early May, mating soon begins. There are fights between males. Egg laying occurs in June. The clutch contains 5–14 eggs, the duration of incubation is about 2 months. Juveniles appear in August. The duration of seasonal activity is 4–4.5 months. Goes into hibernation in late August – early September. The basis of the diet is insects and their larvae, earthworms, mollusks, spiders, and their own young.

Limiting factors and protection measures

The main limiting factors for the lizard are the destruction of habitats as a result of economic activities, excessive recreational pressure, death on the roads and from predators.

To preserve this unique species, it is necessary to carry out economic and construction work without destroying the habitats of lizards. In addition, it is necessary to control the keeping of domestic animals and the necessary measures to reduce the number of feral dogs and cats. It is important to carry out educational activities, especially among schoolchildren, in order to preserve this unique species.

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