Backyard Buddies
Skinks

Photo: David Cook

Skinks

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Most suburban backyards are home to a variety of skinks, but they look similar at a glance. Due to their timid nature and quick reflexes you may only ever see them dashing for cover as you approach.

Skinks don’t have to eat every day, but will do so when conditions are favourable.

They create nests in moist soil under objects in the garden. Females lay about five eggs each, sometimes in communal nests which hold dozens of eggs. Eggs look like mini chicken eggs but are soft and rubbery. They become enlarged as they absorb moisture from the surrounding soil.

To take a closer look at your garden skinks, find a comfortable spot on a warm day to sit quietly where you usually see skinks and they should eventually emerge.

You can help skinks thrive in your garden

These pest-controlling hunters can survive easily in your garden. By including logs, sticks and leaf mulch in your garden you can help to protect them.

You will most often see them sunning themselves on rocks or bricks, but as they are prey for many birds, they will disappear like lightning if they sense any threats.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. Skinks are backyard buddies.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the skink, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what skinks do and do not like.

Skinks love:

A place to sunbake – the sun’s warmth prepares their bodies for more insect-gathering activity.

Eating insects – crickets, moths and cockroaches are favourites.

A place to hide – lizards have a good chance of escaping predators if your garden includes logs, small bundles of sticks and dense ground cover.

But they don’t like:

Their eggs being dug up – gardeners or animals sometimes uncover their nests. Eggs are most prone to being disturbed between early summer and autumn.

Cats and dogs – some pets can’t resist chasing or catching skinks.

Birds – that see them as a quick and easy snack

Be a buddy to skinks

Try to:

Avoid:

Don’t be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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