My little young cousin did catch two Sand Lizards for a short photoshoot in Salem (in North Germany). It´s one older and one younger Sand Lizard. Indeed… she did release both to the nature after taking the photos because the Sand Lizards are threatened due to the continuing endangerment of their habitats which I will explain further in this article here. But my little cousin reminds me to my own childhood. She is always on the campground in Salem with grandma and grandpa.
There is a lot of nature and she´s just discovering that all in her young years like I did when I was young and visited the nature in Salem often. And grandma and grandpa do teach her to discover and study plants and animals but also to respect the nature and the animals. I am lucky that she is interested and I am lucky that she knows that the animals should not be disturbed for too long and too often and that she knows to release the animals quickly after taking a photo. I do think this is very important and then it is a very good way to learn and to get awareness of our nature.
The Sand Lizards (Lacerta agilis) are common in several areas in europe but also central asia. Their habitat extends from South-England in the west to the Siberian Lake Baikal in the east. The most southern appearance are near Central-Greece. And the most northern in South-Sweden. Also in my country Germany they are present as mentioned at the beginning.
The name describes their favorite whereabouts. In english they are called Sand Lizard. In germany we call this reptile “Zauneidechse” which means “Fence Lizard” translated. In french they do have the name “lezard des souches” which means “Lizard of the Tree Stumps”. The latin name “Lacerta agilis” means “Fast Lizard”.
Their prefered habitats are furthermore borders like hedges and therefore as said also near fences. They are seen near forest edges and glades. They do like easy to dig grounds like herb layers and as said tree stumps. They also love areas with brushwood, shrubbery or trees as coverage and sun protection. And they are seen in the grass, on dunes and on cliff tops or on wasteland.
That sounds like the Sand Lizard is not so demanding but at the same time this is already too much due to the fact that their habitat becomes smaller and smaller. The reason is multifarious like the habitat of the Sand Lizard. Some reasons are expansion of river basins, loss of wasteland, extension of thoroughfares and residential areas and so on. Nutrient supply in form of fertilization are resulting in deprivation of bare soil and then to the loss of their egg laying places. And this means the Sand Lizard stocks might slowly die out. It is no surprise then that this reptile is on the species protection red list of most german states. I am not sure but probably not only in germany. The Sand Lizard is a beautiful animal and a loss would be tragic.
Special thanks goes to “http://www.reptilien-brauchen-freunde.de“. I gathered most of the information there and they made it possible to learn a bit more about the Sand Lizard and to share this knowledge here with my readers.