Some large reptiles would make the planet a better place if they suddenly became extinct

Yes, there are red ones ... and some of them are much bigger than this.

Yes, there are red ones … and some of them are much bigger than this.

The Mayor of Wellington has unreasonable expectations of her citizens.

She is asking them (see here) to look out for lizards in the capital.

The city’s lizard population has declined due to loss of habitat and predation by introduced mammals, prompting Mayor Celia Wade-Brown to ask eco-sleuths to help with a survey about the distribution of species.

But the last time Alf looked at a lizard, it was a somewhat smallish creature and fairly well camouflaged.

Your typical Wellington citizen has great trouble spotting a bloody big red bus headed in his or her direction. They are often knocked over crossing the road.

In some cases, the big red bus that hit them is the last thing they did not see.

But let’s step back a bit.

What’s the mayor banging on about?

Here’s the answer –

Ms Wade-Brown said the city is home to at least eight distinct species of lizards, including the striking Wellington green gecko.

“[This survey] aims to make Wellington an even healthier place to live for all our inhabitants – whether they are plants, animals or humans. Our biodiversity is one of the things that make Wellington such an interesting place to live.”

Helpful observations would include details about the reptile’s location, a photo or description, such as its colour, size and species, and the date and time it was seen.

Alf is unaware of any small red lizards living in Wellington (but stands to be corrected should he be wrong on this matter).

But he is tempted to observe that he is looking right now – on the Opposition benches across from where he is seated – at a gaggle of much bigger reptiles variously coloured from pink to red.

Nearby are the some big green buggers.

Alf does not share the mayor’s concerns.

If these reptiles became extinct, the planet would be in better shape.

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