Lizards are attracted to areas with vegetation that is familiar to them. Native Australian plants encourage reptiles and all kinds of native animals. It is important to provide a variety of areas with different ground cover to attract reptiles. Providing areas of heavy vegetation and shade as well as sparse areas with lots of sunlight will simulate a natural reptile habitat.
Food to be Found
It is important not to feed reptiles in your garden. They will find the food they need. A native garden with lots of vegetation will encourage insects for lizards to feed on. You could include a strawberry plant as a special treat for Bobtails.
Hide and Seek
Lizards love having cracks and crevices to hide in, under and around. Rocks and logs can be used, but be sure not to remove these from the wild. PVC pipes and bricks can also be used to provide shelter for reptiles in your garden.
Drink it Up
Putting a wet area, such as a pond, in your garden is a great way to encourage lizards to visit. As well as providing them with somewhere to drink, a wet area attracts frogs and insects.
Basking in the Sunlight
Lizards are ectothermic which means their body temperature is regulated by their environment. Many reptile species warm up in the sunshine. Flat rocks, old tin or roofing provide fantastic surfaces for reptiles to bask on.
A small compost area filled with mulch, bark and leaf litter attracts reptiles. Make sure this area has good sunshine and is close to a ground covering plant so lizards can access it whenever they want. Compost also attracts insects and snails for reptiles to eat.
Reptiles have several natural predators found around gardens. Cats and dogs attack reptiles so keep them away. Birds also prey on them.
Avoid using chemicals and non-organic fertilisers in and around your garden as they may harm lizards. As lizards eat insects and snails, if these are contaminated with pellets then lizards may become ill. Use environmentally friendly alternatives to rid your garden of pests.
Local lizards you might see in your garden:
- Shingle-back Skink (Tiliqua rugosa)
- Western Blue-tongue (Tiliqua occipitalis)
- Burton’s Legless Lizard (Lialis burtonis)
- Binoe’s Prickly Gecko (Heteronotia binoei)
- Western Bearded Dragon (Pogona minor)
- Common Dwarf Skink (Menetia greyii)
Come and see our reptile-friendly garden at the Zoo’s Homestead Barn.