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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Lizard protection and monitoring

Lizards in Jersey

Jersey is home to only 3 species of lizard. All 3 species of lizards are protected under the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000. None of these lizards will harm you or your pets. The largest threat to lizards are cats, birds of prey and furze fires.

Green lizard

Jersey is the only area in Britain where green lizards occur naturally. The species is amongst the largest in Europe with adult males reaching lengths of between 30 to 40cm (16 inches).

Adult males are distinguished from the females by a larger head and a blue throat. The throat of a female green lizard is yellowish green.

The breeding season takes place in April and May. Between 5 and 20 eggs are produced in June and July. The clutch is then hidden beneath vegetation or soil and warmed by the sun. The young emerge in September.

Where will I most likely see a green lizard?

The largest populations of green lizards are found in the west and south-west of Jersey. Les Blanches Banques, the dune system at the southern end of St Ouen’s bay, and Ouaisne Common are considered the largest thresholds.

What do they eat?

Green lizards enjoy a variety of insect food and will often climb among the branches of small flowering shrubs and plants to hunt for bees and butterflies using their camouflaged bodies to good effect.

About green lizards leaflet

Wall lizard

The wall lizard is most often seen on the following vertical surfaces on warm sunny days: 

  • dry stone walls
  • rockeries
  • cliffs
  • rock piles

They have a variety of spots and stripes that vary between individuals. Adults reach about 20cm long - up to 2 thirds of that is tail.

Their clutch of around 7 - 8 eggs is laid in low growing vegetation exposed to sunshine in June to July. The young emerge in September.

They feed on insects and spiders.

Wall lizard leaflet

Slow worm

A slow worm, so often mistaken for a grass snake, is a legless lizard. They like to burrow and spend much of the time hiding underneath objects. Adult slow worms grow to be about 50 cm long and are known for their exceptionally long life - it has been said that a slow worm is the longest living lizard, living about 30 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity. The skin of the slow worm is smooth with scales that do not overlap one another. Like many other lizards, slow worms autotomize, meaning that they have the ability to shed their tails in order to escape predators.

These reptiles are mostly active during the twilight and occasionally bask in the sun, but are more often found hiding beneath rocks and logs.

They like to feed on slugs and worms.

The female often has a stripe along the spine and dark sides while the male may have blue spots dorsally. The female gives birth to live young. In the days leading up to birth the female can often be seen basking in the sun.

How you can help

Record any sighting of Jersey lizards to the Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) or the Jersey Biodiversity Centre (JBC). The sighing should include the following information:
  • species name
  • how many
  • location/habitat
  • date seen
  • your name
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