The Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar) was once common across Victoria and parts of the ACT, South Australia and New South Wales. It’s believed to be extinct in South Australia and habitat loss has led to a drastic population decline and local extinctions in Victoria. Though widely distributed in northern Victoria, it had not been seen for several decades in the north east.
Striped Legless Lizards are difficult to find. They aresmall, rare and look similar to several other species. Between 2016 and 2019, Trust for Nature and members of the local community set out to raise awareness of this disappearing species.
Starting with the most recent Striped Legless Lizard records from the Rushworth, Benalla and Wangaratta districts, we sought help from local landholders, conservation groups, and government agencies and surveyed more than 35 sites. We didn’t find any of the Lizards until we received a blurry photo of what looked like a Striped Legless Lizard from a locality called Greta West in 2017. This was followed by a confirmed record from Whorouly South in 2019, the first record of the Lizard in this area for almost 40 years! Trust for Nature projects have now found Striped Legless Lizards at three new sites in north east Victoria, suggesting they may be more widespread than anyone had previously thought.
More surveys are planned to better understand the extent of the Whorouly South Striped Legless Lizard population and help them survive. This project was funded with the support of the Victorian Government. Help from landholders, covenantors and community groups was invaluable.
For more information about projects in the Goulburn Broken region contact our Senior Conservation Officer Bert Lobert on (03) 8631 5888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.