Try the Green Lizard Trail!

| May 11, 2009

Islanders with a keen eye for spotting green lizards as they emerge from hibernation are being encouraged to join a guided walk designed to raise awareness about the resident reptiles.

Jersey is the only part of the British Isles where green lizards can be found. They are among the largest lizard species in Europe with adult males reaching lengths of around 30 cm.

The Green Lizard Trail was launched last year to enable Islanders to see and find out more about them. It is being supported by law firm Walkers, which became the first Green Lizards Champion in Jersey in 2007 with a series of initiatives to support its conservation.

This year, three public Green Lizard walks will be led by experienced guide Chris Perkins, with the first of these events taking place on Sunday 24 May.

Mr Perkins said: “Reptiles like Green Lizards are much more difficult to detect than amphibians. They can be quite secretive, fairly camouflaged, and do not gather in groups to breed as amphibians do, so spotting them requires a bit of skill and knowledge, along with a bit of luck! We are very lucky to have these beautiful lizards in Jersey and I will do my best to help islanders spot some of them during our walks. Their behaviour, and therefore the chances of detecting them, is also strongly controlled by weather and time of day, as well as season, but we have picked the best time for this and just hope for a bit of sunshine!”

The guided Green Lizard Trail follows a gentle course through the lizard’s natural habitat at La Pulente. A special self-guiding walking map and leaflet has also been produced, sponsored by Walkers, allowing anyone who can’t make the group walks to guide themselves around the trail.

The Green Lizard Trail leaflet also gives facts and information about the lizards along with tips on how to spot them yourself. It’s been organised through the Green Lizard Project, a partnership between Walkers law firm and the Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) to promote the conservation of this native species.

Heather Bestwick, Managing Partner of Walkers’ Jersey office, said: “These beautiful creatures are increasingly under threat and Walkers, as Green Lizards Champion, are determined to try to make sure they remain part of our environment for the future. The Green Lizard Project was set up to raise money and increase awareness about the conservation of Jersey’s green lizard population. The walks are an important part of the work and we do hope Islanders will take the opportunity to join Chris and make the most of his expert knowledge, while supporting the continuing work to preserve this local species.”

The first Green Lizard Walk of the summer starts at 9.30am at La Pulente car park on Sunday 24 May. Families taking part will be asked to make a suggested £5 donation for which they will receive a Green Lizard toy and a copy of the self-guiding walk leaflet. All proceeds go to JARG. Green Lizard Trail maps will also be available from Durrell and Jersey Tourism.

The Green Lizard Project supports the work of JARG, an independent, non-profit group who conserve through study and direct action, the native reptiles and amphibians of Jersey.

John Pinel, a representative of JARG, said: “We are immensely grateful to Walkers for their ongoing support of the conservation efforts for the Green Lizard which provides good quality habitat for this and many other of our Island’s spectacular fauna. We are delighted that the education campaign is continuing, as a wider appreciation of these superb animals will help to ensure that conservation efforts continue to succeed. “

The next two guided walks led by Chris Perkins, will take place on Sunday 28 June and Sunday 26 July.

ENDS

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Category: Community, Environment, Jersey

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