The sand lizard is present on the higher sandy soils. There are inland as well as coastal populations. The core areas are the Veluwe area (province of Gelderland) and the coastal dunes (provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland). The sand lizard is present on the Wadden Sea islands Terschelling and Vlieland.
The sand lizard is listed on the Red List as vulnerable. It is strictly protected under Dutch legislation, the Bern Convention (Annex ii) and the Habitats Directive (Annex iv). The range of the sand lizard in the Netherlands decreased by 28% since 1950. The decrease during the 20th century was caused largely by the reclamation and afforestation of heathlands. During the last decades heathlands and dunes have undergone shrub encroachment and are being overgrown by grasses which have been encouraged by soil enrichment caused by atmospheric deposition. To counteract the effects of encroachment, management has been carried out on too large a scale and too intensively (grazing, mowing, turf cutting). The species can be encouraged by a careful and small scale management of heathlands and dunes as well as by restoration of natural dynamics in dune landscapes.
- Creemers, R.C.M. & J.J.C.W. van Delft 2009. De amfibieën en reptielen van Nederland. Nederlandse Fauna 9. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, KNNV Uitgeverij & European Invertebrate Survey-Nederland, Leiden.