aprasia

Removal of critical rock habitat threatens biodiversity

In a recent article for the Ecological Society of Australia, Dr Damian Michael (Charles Sturt University) explains that:

  • Exposures of bedrock in production landscapes represent a distinct habitat of high conservation significance.
  • Over 200 threatened Australian plants and animals are dependent on rocky environments.
  • A recent resurgence in the broad-scale removal of surface rock from agricultural landscapes will exacerbate biodiversity loss.
  • There is urgent need to map small-scale rock formations, produce detailed species inventories and develop guidelines to prevent the removal of critical rock habitat in production landscapes.

The pink-tailed worm-lizard is dependent on paddock rocks for its habitat. We are managing a $1m project to protect these tiny lizards. This 6-year project, which is jointly funded by Googong Township and the NSW Government Saving Our Species Fund, will support an extensive conservation program. Read more about our project here...

Read more about the removal of critical rock habitat and loss of biodiversity on the website of the Ecological Society of Australia.

aprasia
Aprasia - Dr Damian Michael

Save our pink-tailed worm lizard

We are managing a $1m project to protect these tiny lizards. This 6-year project, which is jointly funded by Googong Township and the NSW Government Saving Our Species Fund, will support an extensive conservation program.

Meet the pink-tailed worm lizard

Pink-tailed Worm-lizard by Damian Michael
Photo courtesy of CSU ecologist Dr Damien Michael

Pink-tailed worm lizards (Aprasia parapulchella) are one of Australia’s tiniest and most mysterious reptiles.

They spend much of their lives underground in ant nests, where they feed on ant eggs and larvae.

Females generally lay 2 eggs in a clutch a year, and hatchlings can take up to four years to reach maturity.

Adults can grow up to 24 cm long. They have a dark head, grey-brown body, and a pinkish tail that they can drop to escape predators and then re-grow.

Pink-tailed worm lizards are legless, so they are easy to confuse with baby snakes. Please don’t handle them!

If you do see a pink-tailed worm lizard, please get a photo and log details of your sighting with us, or with a citizen science website like the Canberra Nature Map (canberra.naturemapr.org).