RAUK - Archived Forum - WALL LIZARDS WHOSE FOR OR AGAINST THEM

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WALL LIZARDS WHOSE FOR OR AGAINST THEM:

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AGILIS
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Posted: 14 Feb 2008
  
JUST be interested to know the overall attitude on the
 introduction of themKEITH
AGILIS39492.5435532407
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
Davew
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Posted: 14 Feb 2008

Wasn't this sort of done to death last year? Anyway I'm personally against the introduction of aliens and the re introduction of naturals but I'm also strongly against removing either which have become established by fair means or foul.

Wasn't an attempt made to exterminate a Wall Lizard colony last summer - how did that go

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Alex2
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Posted: 14 Feb 2008

[QUOTE=AGILIS]   
JUST be interested to know the overall attitude on the
 introduction of themKEITH
[/QUOTE]

I didn't know podarcis sicula was an introduction, Keith? ; )


Alex2
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Posted: 14 Feb 2008
[QUOTE=Davew]

Wasn't an attempt made to exterminate a Wall Lizard colony last summer - how did that go

[/QUOTE]

I think 'exterminate' is a little harsh, Dave. The prime Dorset habitat where L.agilis has coincidentally dissapeared since the introduction of muralis, has caused concern for various people round here that want any of the few remaining areas suited to the future and safeguard of agilis's survival, to stay that way. As you say, this topic was done to death last year, and i think most people got to aire their views on the matter then. However, to answer your other question, i don't personally have a problem if an introduced species resides somewhere where it is not likely to compete or threaten in any way a native species, especially a species that is known to fall under the title 'nationally endangered fauna/flora'.


AGILIS
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
hi Alex & Davew I borrowed this pic from a sight called (The Alien Lizards of Topeka) just type this title in to google you might find it interesting its about Euro wall lizards that have been introduced into Kansas US.
KEITH
AGILIS39493.1787268519
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
AGILIS
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
[QUOTE=Davew]

 Anyway I'm personally against the introduction of aliens and the re introduction of naturals


hi Davew I cant see why you have a problem with the reintroduction of naturals as many of us think  this is the best way  we can preserve our declining species that have lost so much habitat in this country over the years .keith



[/QUOTE]AGILIS39493.1804166667
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
Alex2
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008

[QUOTE=AGILIS]hi Alex Davew I borrowed this pic from a sight called (The Alien Lizards of Topeka) just put is title in to google you might find it interesting its about Euro wall lizards that have been introduced into Kansas US.
KEITH
[/QUOTE]

Cheers Keith, shall have a search : ) . I think this coming mondays 'Life in Cold Blood' is all about lizards, and David Attenborough will be showing the green and wall lizards that are inhabiting the Dorset coast (?).


Vicar
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
I personally love seeing Wall lizards in the UK, they add that little extra bit of diversity and  interest in parts of the South.

I am strongly against their introduction in places where they may impact upon our native ecosystem. We don't know for certain that they have a negative influence on native species, but not knowing is no excuse for introducing them.

They are also full of alien pathogens, and we don't know how such organisms will affect native Sand lizards...we really don't want a repeat of the Red Squirrel issue!

In summary...no problems where they occupy an isolated ecological niche...but introduction where they may affect native species is downright irresponsible!

my 2 cents.

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
AGILIS
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
YES I like them & agree with what you say Steve nice bit of diversity in the right niche that is devoid of any indigenous species like old castles  and ornamental garden rockeries in town parks. its not that they will travel far unlike grey squirrels and their treetop hopping.keith
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Davew
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008

Hi - to answer the two points;

How is exterminate harsh. People caught Wall Lizards and though supposed "nature lovers" actually killed them. Exterminate seems about right to me.

In the birding world many reintroductions have been made perhaps the most famous being the Red Kite. I can see only one reason for reintroducing an extremely abundant world species into a country where it hadn't been truly present for centuries - vanity. Somebody had the "nice " idea that wouldn't it be lovely if Red Kites were back here and with no more firm reason than that it started (and yes I've looked into it and I couldn't find a concrete reason). Waste of time and money. If a species is globablly threatened then perhaps it's worth it otherwise why bother.


Alex2
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
[QUOTE=Davew]

People caught Wall Lizards and though supposed "nature lovers" actually killed them.

[/QUOTE]

Who did?


Vicar
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008
[QUOTE=Davew]People caught Wall Lizards and though supposed "nature lovers" actually killed them.[/QUOTE]

Did this actually happen? I know of no occasion where any Wall lizard has been deliberately killed by humans.

Just to mention, we can just as easily cause suffering and death to a species due to inaction, as we can through direct action (culling).

If people are more comfortable with the notion of humans not directly killing any animal, yet sitting by and causing a species to suffer due to inaction, then that is a matter for an individual's conscience. If the 'problem' is caused by humans in the first place...I personally see no difference: the result is still suffering.

Given the unpleasant choice (and I don't think we're there re Wall lizards...yet), I would favour the native species over an introduced species in all but exceptional cases.
Vicar39493.4607175926
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
tim hamlett
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008

hi

i suspect davew is refering to this debate from last year http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1852 &PN=2 i have to say that some of the comments do imply that the wall lizards would be killed (not by anyone from this site i must add) if caught - see jon's comments about them becoming fertilizer on page 21 for example. no idea if this actually happened though.

tim


Davew
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Posted: 15 Feb 2008

Hi

During last summer I was in contact with a friend from "down south" who alledgedly had evidence that a trial had taken place at a certain site and that animals had been killed. I'm not going to reveal the site as it may not be true and the site would infer certain persons. I sincerely hope it didn't happen.

I was once heavily involved in the birding scene and strongly argued the case against the extermination of Ruddy Duck as a European species. I lost, sort of - the plan failed and although many thousands were killed the species moved to many widespead breeding localities now known only by those of us against the action. Still I learned a valuable lesson, basically whatever my feelings I can't win against the majority. I have resolved to be less vocal when confronted by these erradication suggestions and there are a hell of a lot of them. At least 10 species of bird are going to be culled heavily or totally within the next decade and for those of you not fully into British birds you'll hopefully still be saddened to know that Mute Swans have been killed in large numbers in the London area simply because they made a mess of a few parks.

That said I do apologise if I come across as unneccissarily confrontational, this topic does fire me up but I'm not going to get involved. If the majority feel that Wall Lizards must be removed then fair enough, I'm 200 miles from the nearest colony anyway and don't see the effects very often. I do ask that any action is only the result of long and intense study and is deemed neccessary by as large a committee as possible. The Ruddy Duck was targeted because it may have moved to spain and interbred with the endangerd White-headed Duck. The fact that it hadn't or infact hadn't even been proven possible apparently was neither here nor there.

Iam lovely really

Davew39493.5119212963
jhanlon
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Posted: 28 May 2008
I'm for them - what else are you supposed to enjoy when failing to see green lizards at Boscombe? The walls saved the day on my 1st trip!
Chris Newman
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Posted: 29 May 2008
Is there any credible evidence that introduced wall lizard colonies have an adverse effect on our native species?    
Chris
armata
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Posted: 29 May 2008
The must have displaced the sandies on Bournemouth cliffs to a certain extent, HCT or Dave will know better.

People do get emotional about aliens

e.g. Canada geese in Poole Park (they make a mess too).
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
Vicar
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Posted: 29 May 2008
Hi Chris,

As I understand the situation, the evidence for any adverse effects is anecdotal and circumstantial, and from only one site. Having said that, the people suggesting the adverse effects are highly respected, and lack of hard proof does not mean that it is a non-issue. There has not yet been sufficient research to determine the effects and to link the effects to certain causes.

Of the twenty or so extant Pm colonies in the UK, most occupy ecological niches, where you would expect no adverse effects. Personally I have no issue with such colonies. However, where they risk overlapping territory, with mutually suitable habitat with our native lizards...especially Sand lizards, I worry.

You could logically construct a threat issue to native species based upon the agility and  hunting prowess of Pm, coupled with their high fecundity compared to La. In terms of physical aggression, Pm is no match for an La. Conversely Zv is no physical match for Pm, and I have observed active aggression towards common lizards by Pm males.

Its neither proven nor disproven as yet.



Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
GemmaJF
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Posted: 29 May 2008

What has to be born in mind with this debate is the insensitivity of the introduction in question. I doubt anyone would really mind a local population of Pm at a site with little other interest but we are talking about systematic attempt to establish them over a wide area which included a site used by native La - most of the  previous debate was about how facts could be established (if possible) one way or the other i.e. were they having an affect and how could that be established or was the La decline caused by something else.

That debate died the death when those on high decided that there would be no investigation only removal and most of us then lost interest in it all. Shame because it might have given an opportunity to establish the facts. I'm sure David can fill us in on the current situation - even bigger shame was that I would have quite happily have funded an investigation, but not an extermination.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Chris Newman
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Posted: 30 May 2008
Thanks for all the info, very helpful. I am trying to asses the threats to native species posed by certain non-native species, i.e. is the threat to our native lizards low, medium or high by the occurrence of Podarcis. I have to say that I am a little circumspect that Pm is a threat to our sandies, but some valid issues have been raised by Steve above. Clearly more work needs to be done on this before we can field a more conclusive answer.
Chris

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