The common lizard is present in almost all regions with sandy soils and also on the loess soils in the south of the province of Limburg. It replaces the sand lizard in the dunes of the province of Zeeland. Both species coexist on the Wadden Sea island of Terschelling. In the major part of the dunes only sand lizards are present.
The common lizard is listed on the Red List as near threatened. It is moderately protected under Dutch legislation and listed on the Bern Convention (Annex iii). The range of the common lizard in the Netherlands decreased by 51% since 1950. Important reasons for this decline are large scale reclamation of heathlands and raised bogs (mires) into farmland and coniferous forests during the 20th century. Large amounts of small unmanaged habitats have disappeared. Common lizards are now found only rarely in farmyards, margins of arable fields, road verges, and fallow land. It is striking that this lizard, which is still the most common reptile of the Netherlands, is the only reptile species of which the numbers have declined between 1994 and 2007. Fragmentation of habitats, desiccation, enhanced succession and too intensive and large scale nature conservation management are recent threats for this lizard. The common lizard can be encouraged by a careful and small scale management of, especially, heathlands and raised bogs.
- 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.