Zootoca vivipara 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Zootoca vivipara
Species Authority: (von Jacquin, 1787)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Lizard, Viviparous Lizard
Spanish Lagartija de Turbera
Lacerta vivipara von Jacquin, 1787
Taxonomic Notes: This species is placed in the genus Zootoca, rather than Lacerta, following Mayer and Bischoff (1996). The species contains a number of different lineages, some of which might constitute separate species (see Bea et al. (1990), Surget-Groba et al. (2001, 2002), Mayer and Böhme (2000), and Mayer et al. (2000) for further details).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Agasyan, A., Avci, A., Tuniyev, B., Crnobrnja Isailovic, J., Lymberakis, P., Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, C., Wilkinson, J., Ananjeva, N., Üzüm, N., Orlov, N., Podloucky, R., Tuniyev, S., Kaya, U., Böhme, W., Nettmann, H.K., Crnobrnja Isailovic, J., Joger, U., Cheylan, M., Pérez-Mellado, V., Borczyk, B., Sterijovski, B., Westerström, A. & Schmidt, B.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team) & Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Milligan, H.T., Powney, G., Sears, J., Wearn, O.R., Wilson, P., Wren, S. & Zamin, T.
Zootoca vivipara is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This extremely widespread species ranges from much of northern, western, central and eastern Europe, across most of northern Asia to China and Japan (Hokkaido Island). In Europe it occurs as scattered populations throughout Britain and Ireland, and through most of Scandinavia, the southern limit of its main distribution running through central France, southeastern Austria, northern Italy, along the Dinaric Alps (in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and northern Albania), western Hungary , southern and central Romania, northern Moldova, and central Ukraine. Isolated populations occur in northern Spain and southwestern France, and also in Serbia, western Bulgaria and extreme northeastern and northwestern Macedonia. It can be found from sea level up to 2,900 m asl (Bulgaria).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Upper elevation limit (metres):2900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This can be a locally abundant species. Populations have locally declined in parts of its range (e.g., in the Netherlands) (Council of Europe 2003). The lowland populations in Italy (Po plain) are almost extinct.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been recorded from a wide variety of habitats including grassland, meadows, humid scrubland, hedgerows, open woodland, woodland edges, peat bogs, stream edges, coastal areas (sea cliffs and sand dunes) and rural gardens.

In most areas the female gives birth to between three and 11 fully formed young. In northern Spain, adjacent France, Austria, Italy and Slovenia, the female lays between one and 13 eggs in a single clutch. In the northern portion of the range and at high altitude it is viviparous, in the southern portion it is oviparous.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is locally threatened in parts of its range by habitat loss resulting from agricultural intensification, urbanization and development of tourism facilities (for example in alpine regions). It is suspected that populations have declined in the U.K. (J. Wilkinson pers. comm.). Some populations of this species that could be specifically distinct might prove to be threatened. This species is categorized as Least Concern in Switzerland (Monney and Meyer 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention, and on Annex IV of the European Union Habitat and Species Directive. It is protected by national legislation in some range countries (e.g., Switzerland). It occurs in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Marginal  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Andreu, A., Bea, A., Braña, F., Galán, P., López-Jurado, L.F., Pérez-Mellado, V., Pleguezuelos, J.M. and Salvador, A. 1998. Fauna Ibérica. Reptiles. 10: 1-705.

Arnold, E.N. 2003. Reptiles and amphibians of Europe. Princeton University Press., Princeton and Oxford.

Bea, A., Guillaume, C.P., Arrayago, M.J., Heulin, B. and Pasteur, G. 1990. Enzyme phenotypes of the common lizard (Lacerta - (Zootoca) - vivipara Jacq) - 1st comparative data between oviparous and viviparous populations. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie des Sciences Serie III-Sciences de la Vie-Life Sciences 310(6): 237-243.

Bowles, F.D. 1995. Observations on the distribution of the common lizard (Lacerta vivipara) in Scotland. British Herpetological Society Bulletin 54: 32-33.

Council of Europe. 2003. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Group of experts on the conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles. Mälmo (Sweden), 26-27 September 2003. Report T-PVS (2003) 18.

Crnobrnja-Isailović, J. and Aleksić, I. 2004. Clutch size in two Central Balkans populations of European common lizard Lacerta vivipara. Biota 5(1-2): 5-10.

Dely, O.G. and Böhme, W. 1984. Lacerta vivipara - Waldeidechse. In: Böhme, W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band 2/I., Echsen II (Lacerta)., pp. 362-393. Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden.

Gasc, J.-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailovic, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martínez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.E., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M. and Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica and Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Glowacinski, Z. 2003. Jaszczurka zyworodna Lacerta vivipara Jaquin, 1787. In: Glowacinski Z. and Rafinski J. (eds), Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Poland. Status - Distribution - Conservation., pp.88-90. Instytut Ochrony Przyrody PAN, Warszawa - Kraków.

Hofer, U., Monney, J.-C. and Dusej, G. 2001. Die Reptilien der Schweiz: Verbreitung, Lebensräume, Schutz. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, Switzerland.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Mayer, W. and Bischoff, W. 1996. Beiträge zur taxonomischen Revision der Gattung Lacerta (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Teil 1: Zootoca, Omanosaura, Timon und Teira als eigenständige Gattungen. Salamandra 32(3): 163-170.

Mayer, W. and Böhme, W. 2000. A note on the validity and distribution of Zootoca vivipara sachalinensis. Casopis Narodniho muzea Rada prirodovedna 169: 123-124.

Mayer, W., Böhme, W., Tiedemann, F. and Bischoff, W. 2000. On oviviparous populations of Zootoca vivipara (Jacquin, 1787) in south-eastern Central Europe and there phylogenetic relationship to neighbouring viviparous and South-west European oviparous populations (Squamata: Sauria: Lacertidae). Herpetozoa 13(1/2): 59-69.

Monney, J.-C. and Meyer, A. 2005. Rote Liste der gefährdeten Reptilien der Schweiz. BUWAL-Reihe: Vollzug Umwelt, 50 S., (BUWAL, Bern, Switzerland).

Necas, P., Modry, D. and Zavadil, V. 1997. Czech Recent and Fossil Amphibians and Reptiles. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main.

Nöllert, A., Nöllert, C. and Ritter, A. 1986. Einige Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna der bulgarischen Schwarzmeerküste und Südwestbulgariens (Teil 2 - Die Reptilien). Herpetofauna 8(44): 30-34.

Odierna, G., Heulin, B., Guillaume, C-P., Vogrin, N., Aprea, G., Capriglione, T., Surget-Groga, Y. and Kupriyanova, L. 2001. Evolutionary and biogeographical implications of the karyological variations in the oviparous and viviparous forms of the lizard Lacerta (Zootoca) vivipara. Ecography 24(3): 332-340.

Pleguezuelos, J.M., Márquez, R. and Lizana, M. 2002. Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España. Dirección General de la Conservación de la naturaleza-Associación Herpetológica Española., Madrid.

Sindaco, R. and Jeremčenko, V.K. 2008. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic. 1. Annotated Checklist and Distributional atlas of the turtles, crocodiles, amphisbaenians and lizards of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy).

Sindaco, R., Doria, G., Razzetti, E. and Bernini, F. 2006. Atlas of Italian Amphibians and Reptiles\\Atlante Degli Anfibi E Dei Rettili D'Italia. Societas Herpetologica Italica - Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze.

Surget-Groba, Y., Heulin, B., Ghielmi, S., Guillaume, C.-P. and Vogrin, N. 2002. Phylogeography and conservation of the populations of Zootoca vivipara carniolica. Biological Conservation 106: 365-372.

Surget-Groba, Y., Heulin, B., Guillaume, G.P., Thorpe, R.S., Kupriyanova, L., Vogrin, N., Maslak, R., Mazzotti, S., Venczel, M., Ghira, I., Odierna, G., Leontyeva, O., Monney, J.C. and Smith, N. 2001. Intraspecific Phylogeography of Lacerta vivipara and the Evolution of Viviparity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(3): 449-459.

Tomović, Lj., Ajtić, R. and Crnobrnja-Isailović, J. 2003. Contribution to Distribution and Conservation of Batrachofauna and Herpetofauna on Bjelasica Mountain in Montenegro. In: Pešić, V. (ed.), The Biodiversity of the Biogradska Gora National Park. Monographies I, Department of Biology, University of Montenegro & Centre for Biodiversity of Montenegro., pp. 140-148.

Citation: Agasyan, A., Avci, A., Tuniyev, B., Crnobrnja Isailovic, J., Lymberakis, P., Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, C., Wilkinson, J., Ananjeva, N., Üzüm, N., Orlov, N., Podloucky, R., Tuniyev, S., Kaya, U., Böhme, W., Nettmann, H.K., Crnobrnja Isailovic, J., Joger, U., Cheylan, M., Pérez-Mellado, V., Borczyk, B., Sterijovski, B., Westerström, A. & Schmidt, B. 2010. Zootoca vivipara. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T61741A12552141. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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