Artificial egg-laying sites for lizards: a conservation strategy

  • Published source details Castilla A.M. & Swallow J.G. (1995) Artificial egg-laying sites for lizards: a conservation strategy. Biological Conservation, 72, 387-391.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create artificial nests or nesting sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create artificial nests or nesting sites

    A study in 1993 on an island in the Columbretes archipelago, Spain (Castilla & Swallow 1995) found that all of 15 artificial nests were visited by Iberian wall lizards Podarcis hispanica atrata and one nest contained a clutch of laid eggs. All 15 artificial nests were used as basking and burrowing sites by adult male and female Iberian wall lizards (rocky area: total 3–17 active lizards/nest; vegetated area: 7–35 active lizards/nest). One artificial nest (in the vegetated area) had a clutch of two eggs laid in it, which hatched successfully. A total of 39 of 47 introduced eggs (83%) survived and developed successfully in the artificial nests. Fifteen white plastic containers (20 x 15 x 7 cm) filled with volcanic sand (five with rocks, five with stone shingle) were placed in a rocky area with a low density of lizards (seven containers; <100 lizards/ha) and a vegetated area with a high density of lizards (eight containers; 800 lizards/ha). Containers were covered with stone slabs and placed on the ground 5–15 m apart surrounded by rocks. Water was added every other day. In May–July 1993, lizards and their faecal pellets and burrows were counted during 40 x 5-minute observations over 19–20 days. All 15 containers were searched for naturally laid eggs on two occasions. Three introduced eggs (laid by captive female lizards) were placed in each container and survival recorded weekly.

    (Summarised by: Amos Bouskila)

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