University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Widespread primary, but geographically restricted secondary, human introductions of wall lizards, Podarcis muralis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 09:49 authored by Michaelides, SN, Geoffrey WhileGeoffrey While, Zajac, N, Uller, T
Establishing the introduction pathways of alien species is a fundamental task in invasion biology. The common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis, has been widely introduced outside of its native range in both Europe and North America, primarily through escaped pets or deliberate release of animals from captive or wild populations. Here we use Bayesian clustering, approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) methods and network analyses to reconstruct the origin and colonization history of 23 non-native populations of wall lizards in England. Our analyses show that established populations in southern England originate from at least nine separate sources of animals from native populations in France and Italy. Secondary introductions from previously established nonnative populations were supported for eleven (47%) populations. In contrast to the primary introductions, secondary introductions were highly restricted geographically and appear to have occurred within a limited time frame rather than being increasingly common. Together, these data suggest that extant wall lizard populations in England are the result of isolated accidental and deliberate releases of imported animals since the 1970s, with only local translocation of animals from established non-native populations. Given that populations introduced as recently as 25 years ago show evidence of having adapted to cool climate, discouraging further translocations may be important to prevent more extensive establishment on the south coast of England.


Publication title

Molecular Ecology










School of Natural Sciences


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences