Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tennent's leaf-nosed lizard (Ceratophora tennentii)
It’s not difficult to see why this lizard is one of the 5 species in Sri Lanka commonly known as ‘horn-nosed lizards’. Each of the 5 species has a different shaped horn − and I bet you can tell how the leaf-nosed lizard got his name. Not only is the end of his nose flat, but also takes the shape of a leaf!
Adult lizards have a very special talent; they can change their colour to match their surroundings. Can you guess why this is important? Yep – you got it. They change colour to camouflage themselves so predators can’t see them.
Tennent’s leaf-nosed lizard can only be found in the Knuckles mountains (which are tropical montane cloud forests). Like many species in Sri Lanka’s they are under threat from habitat loss. In Knuckles especially, natural forest has been cut down to make way for cardamom plantations. The tallest trees have been left to give shade, but the undergrowth has been cleared to grow spices. But there is hope! These reptiles have been found living in cardamom plantations, which means they can adjust to some changes in habitat.
What can you do?
Like other animals, the lizards suffer from chemicals used in farming. By buying organic food which is grown without the use of chemicals, you are supporting farmers who are protecting wildlife
The Knuckles Forest is under threat from climate change. As global warming takes effect, large areas of the forest are dying. You can help fight against climate change by conserving energy that is produced from fossil fuels (such as coal, gas and oil). So turn off lights when you leave a room, don’t leave the TV on standby, walk, cycle or take the bus to school instead of driving, and unplug your phone when it is fully charged.
» Find out how else you can help to protect Sri Lanka's endangered species
Written by Rainforest Rescue International
Illustration by Aisa Hewatathirana
Posted by Rainforest Rescue International at 2:43 AM