Like a miniature dragon, with its prominent and prehistoric looking scales, this unique lizard is only found in a small region of South Africa.
The Sungazer (Smaug giganteus) is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ and threatened by habitat destruction, illegal poaching, and the muthi trade. They are habitat specialists with populations that are restricted to the Highveld grasslands of South Africa. Their habitat is also popular for farming, mines and power plants.
Within the last 40 years, around 1/3 of the Sungazer population has become extinct, indicating the need for urgent conservation intervention. However, conservation planning and implementation can only be effective with detailed knowledge of the species.