Story: Lizards

Species richness

Species richness

New Zealand has more lizard species per square kilometre than warmer, dryer places such as Australia, Texas and California, and also in the United Kingdom, which has a similar, temperate climate. In this diagram New Zealand, with about 80 lizard species and a land area of 270,500 square kilometres, is ranked as 1. Other places are measured relative to this. For example, Australia has a higher total number of species (623), but because of its much larger land area it ranks lower than New Zealand.

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Source: adapted from Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Flight of the huia. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2004, p. 31

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Lizards - Appearance and life cycle', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 March 2023)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Mar 2014