VICTORIAN EARLESS DRAGON
photography, edition of six
123 x 69 cm
"A tiny earless lizard thought to be extinct in the wild has been spotted for the first time in more than 50 years in grasslands west of Melbourne, Australia. The reptile, called the Victorian grassland earless dragon, was once commonly found in the region, but its numbers were decimated by habitat loss and predators such as foxes and feral cats, per a statement from the Australian government.
In February,  two early career ecologists snapped a photo of the lizard and sent it off to a reptile expert in the state of Victoria, who identified the animal as the critically endangered dragon, writes Annika Smethurst for the Sydney Morning Herald. Since then, scientists have been tallying the species’ population size by conducting surveys at the site of the find, which has not been disclosed to protect the creatures from the public. Australia is investing $188,000 in a project using trained detection dogs to sniff out more of the animals, per the statement." (source: Smithsonian Magazine)