Energy Australia Builds Around Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard Habitat

October 6, 2014

Energy Australia is building a wind farm in South Australia and is working with environmentalists to ensure that the country’s pygmy bluetongue lizard, a smaller version of the blue-tongued skink, is not negatively affected by the roads and other infrastructure that will go in as the project is developed. 

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The windmill farm will be located in Stony Gap but the roads, which initially were going to pass through the habitat of the small lizard, will go around, and existing roads in the area will be fenced off in an effort to keep the lizards off the roads. 

The pygmy bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua adelaidensis) is a small skink that looks just like the larger blue-tongue skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia), but with a few noticeable exceptions. It does not have a blue tongue. It’s tongue is pink. It is grayish-brown and orange-brown in coloration and has a short tail. Its total body length is less than 15 centimeters in length. 

They are often found in trapdoor spider holes on native grasslands in Australia. For decades the pygmy bluetongue lizard was thought to have gone extinct until a specimen was discovered inside the belly of a dead brown snake in 1992. A wild population was later found in Burra, Australia. It is estimated that there are 5,000 pygmy bluetongue lizards in South Australia between the towns of Eudunda to Jamestown. 

John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 


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