Brave, but still tiny: Help protect baby blue-tongues
BABY blue-tongue lizards are on the move across the Northern Rivers, and WIRES Northern Rivers is urging people to keep an eye out.
Although the babies are only about 10cm long when they're born, and they are already independent.
Up to 19 lizards are in a litter -- they eat the placenta and membrane and are on their way, shedding for the first time just a few days later.
"Few will survive for long in our suburban environment as predators are many, such as cats, dogs, cars and lawn mowers," a WIRES Northern Rivers spokesperson said.
"They do not run away when danger threatens, but puff up and stick out their tongues.
"Not a good defence against a lawn mower."
To protect the lizards, WIRES Northern Rivers advises people to keep cats locked up and take care when mowing long grass.
Blue tongues will eat anything slow enough for them to catch.
They will eat a variety of plants and a large range of insects.
"No blue-tongue can go past a snail; these are like ice cream to them," WIRES Northern Rivers said.
"Please don't use chemicals such as snail bait; let the lizard do the job for you."
These adaptable creatures are common in backyards right across the region and will help keep bug numbers down.
Give them a place to hide -- create tunnels by using small lengths of drain pipe hidden under leaf mulch.
Put rocks and logs on the ground, along with piles of leaves and low, shrubby bushes.
Shallow water dishes placed on the ground under a bush will also help. Change the water daily.
Blue-tongue lizards can live as long as 30 years, and will become quite used to you and your family.