Protecting Prairie Lizards

Manitoba’s only lizard, the endangered northern prairie skink, will receive new protection thanks to efforts by a researcher from Brandon University.

Dr. Pam Rutherford, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, has convinced the Canadian Herpetological Society to designate Spruce Woods Provincial Park an Important Amphibian & Reptile Area.

The northern prairie skink is a small brown reptile about the length of your hand. Juveniles have bright blue tails but the colour fades when they mature.

“The skink is not found anywhere else in Canada, so it’s vulnerable, especially to human activities,” says Dr. Rutherford, a long-time skink researcher. “Protecting their home will help the survival of the Manitoba
skink population.”