INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Department of Natural Resources officials are encouraging Hoosiers to help track sightings of common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) that are now being found in southeastern Indiana.
DNR fish and wildlife biologists said they recently observed an estimated 20 to 35 wall lizards living in a rock-lined embankment bordering the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, just two miles from the Ohio state line.
Since the initial discovery, DNR officials along with members of the public have found more wall lizard colonies in Aurora and Rising Sun.
Common wall lizards are not native to North America and are not generally dangerous, according to DNR’s release on Thursday.
Officials are concerned that the lizards may outcompete the native species like “five-linked skinks” for food and shelter, though they said more research is needed to understand their interactions.
DNR said more work is also needed to determine how many of the wall lizards have colonized southeast Indiana and inform the DNR’s management recommendation.
If anyone sees the wall lizards, especially if they are able to take photos, DNR officials ask that you email them at HerpSurveys@dnr.IN.gov.
All currently known sites are located along the Ohio River where the lizards inhabit rocky and vegetated banks of the river and a nearby rock wall. DNR is also conducting additional surveys to better understand the situation.
Officials said the European species was first established in Cincinnati in the early 50s and has slowly made its way towards the Indiana border.
More details on the reptiles are available on the DNR website.