New species of lizard found with help of locals

Tathra environmental consultancy EnviroKey is excited to have played a critical role in the discovery of a new species of lizard.

The new species, the Barrier Range dragon (Ctenophorus mirrityana) was announced recently in the scientific journal “Records of the Australian Museum“ and is known only from two disjunct populations in western NSW.

Steve Sass, principal ecologist of EnviroKey, said it was exciting news. “It is not every day you discover a new species.”

He said that previously it was thought that the species was part of the common species, the Tawny Crevice dragon, Flinders Ranges.

“We suspected it was different and part of our role was to support a PHD project at Melbourne University. We collected DNA material and the analysis showed it was a separate species. We were confident it was distinct from the Flinders Ranges species and believe that separation occurred 5 million to 3 1/2 million years ago.”

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