Aw, a cute little lizard. Everybody loves a lizard.
Apart from grass snakes, VC55 (Leicestershire and Rutland) has few reptile hotspots. Intensive agriculture just doesn’t suit them, and a large human population is even worse. This shot was taken at the best known reptile site, where three species occur. But let’s take a closer look (i.e. back off a bit).
This is a pregnant female. She has a regenerated tail meaning she has probably been handled in the past. I took this shot on an organized walk with a senior member of the Wildlife Trust, and it was taken from a public footpath which gets high numbers of walkers, including dog walkers, many of who do not keep their dogs on leads as requested to in the nature reserve – i.e. constant disturbance – not good for pregnant ladies just hoping for some peace to bask in the sun. The reserve also gets a lots of unwelcome attention from reptile “enthusiasts”, fossil hunters and simple morons (problems with livestock being let out, litter, etc). I’m really quite fearful about the future of this site which is really one of the (few) jewels of VC55. I hope Mrs Lizard is allowed to have her babies in peace. I hope future generations get to say, Aw, cute lizard.