Endangered Legless Lizards threatened by bulldozers
Populations of the endangered striped legless lizard in Melbourne’s outer west are set for destruction by bulldozer for new housing, and our Premier Daniel Andrews has dismissed any efforts to protect them!
The species looks like a snake but its closest relative is the gecko, and is deemed endangered within Victoria and vulnerable nationally.
15 green and community groups, led by the Victorian National Parks Association say that the federal and state governments should adopt further protections for the existing populations of the creature, potentially in the path of new housing developments. Nothing seems to be able survive the bulldozers when it comes to housing and population growth!
(image: The distribution of the Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar))
In any conflict, the threatened species will lose out. There’s large swathes of money to be made, and benefits for real estate and property investors, leaving intrinsic and environmental values lost in any considerations. It’s about spawning more mortgages, and being able to by-passing any environmental laws that protect endangered species.
Under a deal with Canberra, the state government was required to explore a relocation trial for the species. This pays lip-service to consideration for species, and assumes that they can simply be “relocated” to neatly comply with developers! According to VNPA, “900 lizards would be required for successful translocation but this number is based on the most conservative estimates and is much too high.
“The Striped Legless Lizards will now be left to await the bulldozers as habitat hotspots continue to be cleared for urban growth in Melbourne’s west”.
“The habitat for one of Victoria’s most significant endangered species, the Striped Legless Lizard, is rapidly being destroyed and the animals now face death by bulldozer,” the Victorian National Parks Association’s Yasmin Kelsall said in a Media Statement.
The harmless, endangered legless lizard lives in one of Victoria’s critically threatened habitats – the native grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains.
Green Wedges Coalition spokesperson Rosemary West said the lizards now face local extinction.
The steamroller of housing growth just keeps clawing out further into Melbourne’s fringes, with 100,000 more people each year to be accommodated.