Sand lizard
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Sand lizards released on Dee Estuary in Chester Zoo conservation work

Conservationists have released sand lizards on dunes on the Dee Estuary.

The juvenile lizards were bred at Chester Zoo as part of a long-term conservation project to return 400 of the species to seven sites in England and Wales.

The animals, which live only on sand, are the UK's rarest lizard.

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation said the native species had been lost from north and west Wales, Cheshire, Kent, Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall.

Populations in Dorset, Surrey and Merseyside had suffered losses of up to 97%.

The lizards were released to allow them to adapt to their new home before they begin hibernating in October.

Chester Zoo produced a short film of the release close to the Talacre lighthouse in Flintshire.

  • 11 Sep 2013
  • From the section Wales