Recently I went on a free workshop held by my local council. The intent was to raise awareness of the plight of lizards and other reptiles in suburbia. Like many native animals, they are suffering loss of habitat and falling victim to predators (again, cats being the worst offenders).
The fun bit of the workshop was making little refuges for our backyard critters. We were given a huge block of clay and some basic instructions with some ideas about what kind of home would be useful to which animals, then we were let lose.
By the end of the workshop I had 4 pieces:
- A fake log that would be good for large lizards like the blue tongue. (As it turns out, my bob tail lizard isn’t local. The expert at the workshop assumes it is a released pet – all the more reason to give it a good home.) The 2 tiny “branches” are also hollow and should be good for spiders.
- A fake stone to go in the end of the log – the expert said skinks really don’t like a large opening on both sides so suggested I either jam my “log” up against a fence or I stick a rock in the end. The rock has a hole in it making it a nice home for smaller lizards as well.
- A fake piece of curled bark with multiple hidey spots. The leaves looked a lot more leaf-like before the clay was baked – oh well, I doubt the lizards will care.
- A fake log that can be hung on a tree, fence or similar for frogs. The male frogs like hollows that work as amplifiers for their croaks. I guess loud croaks drive girl-frogs into a lustful frenzy.
Now all I have to do is find good places to put my reptile-houses and wait for critters to move in. One criteria is they have to be where my chickens can’t reach them. Chickens love tiny lizards, maybe even more than cats do. I’d never forgive myself if I created a perfect environment and lured lizards in, only for my girls to eat them!