How to become Involved
The Wall lizard project has the goal of producing and maintaining a record of the distribution of the Common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) within the United Kingdom.
There are two core elements to this task:
- Detection of new colonies.
- Monitoring of existing colonies.
Detection of new colonies
If you know of a colony of Wall lizards within the United Kingdom, that is not listed on the Wall lizard project page, then please let us know!
New colonies are springing up all the time (5 colonies in 2007 alone!). The main mechanisms are the deliberate and illegal release of lizards, and escapees from foreign imported materials or plants.
If you are in doubt whether a lizard you have seen may be a wall lizard, check out the SARG Wall lizard page for identification tips and photographs. Remember that colouration of this species can be very variable.
If you think that you have seen a Wall lizard, or are not sure, then please contact us using the address at the bottom of this page. It would be very helpful if you have a digital photograph of the animal! as we can provide an instant ID, rather than try to visit the area for survey.
The job doesn't end when we know that a colony exists, we need some measurements to determine how large the population size is, and whether the colony is expanding in numbers and range, or decreasing.
The easiest way to achieve this is to have accurate measurements of the location of individual animals. This usually means using a hand-held GPS unit, and recording the position of animals by means of Ordnance Survey grid references. Ideally OSGB local grid references should be 10-digit references (Eg SU1234598765). The minimum useful degree of precision is a 6-figure reference (Eg SU123987), and these can be derived by careful use of an ordnance survey map.
We can turn these gid references in colony clusters, and assess the area of the colony. By making a judgement of the percentage of suitable habitat within this area, and the known number of animals that a given area can support, we can estimate the number of animals present.
It is our goal to check the extent of each colony every year, so we can detect changes in the area of range, and in the numbers of animals. So, even if you have sent in some records from your local site in one year, similar records from following years are just as important!
In time, we will develop a dedicated online reporting tool. Until then, please send any information and pictures to 'Steve' at Steve@surrey-arg.org.uk.