Lounging lizards love to bask in the sun. Lizards can thrive in suburban gardens and rural properties if they have the food and shelter they need.
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Did you know?
There are lots of reasons to attract lizards to your garden.
- More than 99 species of lizard live in New Zealand.
- There are two types of lizards: geckos and skinks. They are easy to tell apart as skinks have sleek bodies whereas geckos have velvety skin. Geckos are also unique in that they don’t have eyelids but instead lick their eyeballs which have clear membranes to protect them.
- Lizards help scatter the seeds of some of our native plants and may also pollinate their flowers.
- Lizards will love your backyard if they have food and shelter.
What to do
1. Explore your backyard
Find the perfect spot for your lizard lounge. The best locations are warm, dry and sunny areas.If you have any tussocks or rocks in your garden, then you’re off to a great start. Shrubs with wide angled branches that intertangle are perfect for thick ground cover.
Lizards enjoy hiding between cracks and under cover.
Do you have any of these lying around?
- Rotting logs
- Bits of old bark
- Terracotta tiles
- Corrugated iron pieces
- Old building material like planks of wood
2. Build your lizard lounge
Stack the above items loosely so there are plenty of cracks and holes. If you make plenty of spaces for lizards to squeeze into then they are likely to do just that.
Try experimenting with different materials and keep track of what is most effective. Observe the different lizard types – do certain objects appeal more to particular species?
Handy hints for making a lizard lounge
- Lizards like privacy so a spot that has thick ground cover will help them feel right at home.
- Sweet treats such as berries and nectar are attractive to lizards. This gives them a balanced diet of fruit and insects. Try planting low-lying shrubs that supply tasty morsels for you guests.
- Lizards love lapping up the sun, however the chillier months are tough for cold blooded creatures. Without sapping sunlight lizards move slower, making them more vulnerable to prey. Provide plenty of safe retreats to keep them safe over the winter.
- Keep your lizards hydrated by placing water bowls in their lounge.
- Lizards are vulnerable to mammals. Backyard visitors such as hedgehogs, stoats and ferrets present danger, but your own pets might be the biggest threat. Keep your lizards safe with netting over your lounge creation. Become a pest detective to help monitor predators (and get a new medal).
While it’s tempting to pat your new scaly friends it’s important to give lizards space and observe from a distance. Lizards are very loyal, and once they’ve found their favourite spot it’s likely they’ll be with you for many years to come.
Kiwi Guardians Habitat Creator - Lizard Lounge medal
Claim your Kiwi guardians medal
Tell us if there are any lizards in your backyard and about the lizard lounge you’ve built, and we’ll send you a Kiwi Guardians Habitat Creator – Lizard Lounge medal.
- What did your lounge look like?
- How did you build it?
- Has anything moved in yet?
- Have you experimented with different materials?
- Did certain materials attract different species?
Use the claim form to tell us about your activity, and we'll send you a medal. Each Kiwi Guardians action has a different medal – see how many you can collect.
Tells us about your activity
The team at Toyota Kiwi Guardians would love to hear about what you did. Send us an email, or share something online using #KiwiGuardians, so we can share it with others. Visit Kiwi Guardians Facebook page.
Lizards are protected
All native lizard species are protected by the Wildlife Act. They can not be captured, collected or deliberately disturbed without a permit issued by DOC. Getting to know the habits of these secretive critters in your own lizard-friendly backyard is a far more rewarding alternative!