Sophie Cross, Land of the Lizards (Wildlife and Animal 2019)

Australia is a land of lizards. Home to approximately 10% of the world's reptile species, Australia has extremely high rates of endemism, with 93% of our reptile species occurring nowhere else in the world. Reptiles are remarkable creatures. Despite arid habitats presenting hostile and challenging environmental conditions for many animals, the arid zones of Australia support amongst the highest diversities of reptiles globally. However, human impacts have resulted in extensive habitat degradation and loss. In addition to being one of the primary drivers of species extinctions, a loss of suitable habitat can impact the thermal environment of landscapes posing significant threats to reptile assemblages, which rely on an availability of refuges to regulate their body temperature. The presented images aim to capture the beauty and diversity of Australia's unique reptiles, and raise awareness of the importance of conserving an animal group often overlooked and considered 'un-charismatic'.

Images have been resized for web display, which may cause some loss of image quality. Note: Original high-resolution images are used for judging.