Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 2 Vol 5 February 2010
What Lizard Is Right For You? Things to Consider When Deciding - Part I In this Issue

pet lizardLizards are fascinating! They also make great pets. That is, they make great pets if you take into consideration why you want a lizard and what you’re looking for in a lizard pet so that you can pick the right one for you. There are so many different species of lizard and so many different places to find and buy them, it can make your head spin. Figuring out exactly what you’re looking for in a reptile pet can make the difference between a good match and a bad one. And nothing’s worse than having all of the excitement and anticipation of getting a habitat set up, getting your lizard and bringing it home, getting it settled and getting to know one another just to find out that you and your pet are a mismatch.

There are ways to avoid such a mismatch, however. Evaluating what exactly you’re looking for in a pet is a great place to start. Once you understand just what you want it’s much easier to find the right lizard to fit those needs. There are three general considerations when choosing a lizard.

Consideration #1: How Much Space Do You Have?

One of the primary considerations when deciding on the right lizard for you is size. Some lizards stay very small, only 4-5 inches in length. Some, however, can grow to over 6 feet long! How much space you have to dedicate to a habitat will have a huge influence on what lizard is right for you. For the smaller lizards a 20 gallon aquarium will do, but if you’re considering something as large as an iguana, a habitat that’s at least 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide is a necessity. When doing your research pay attention to the maximum size a lizard could grow to and use that as your guideline for how much space you’ll need.

Consideration #2: How Much Money Do You Want to Spend?

Not specifically, of course, but some lizards are much more expensive to maintain and care for in a way that will allow them to grow and thrive. Do your due diligence when investigating habitats and cages, including light and heat options, and know what the price ranges are. Don’t break your budget and regret the investment, and don’t be cheap and try to go with the minimum housing for a particular lizard. Lizards, like dogs and cats, are pets that are entrusted to your care. You are responsible for doing what’s necessary to ensure the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible for your pet. Figure out your budget before you decide on a lizard.

Consideration #3: How Important is Handling?

Some lizards are friendlier than others. Some thrive on attention and care and others become stressed when handled and prefer to be left alone. If you want a critter to cuddle, a lizard may not be the pet for you. However, some lizards are known to be friendlier and willing to be handled than others. And no matter what type you get, each is an individual, so even the friendliest of species needs attention and a willingness on your part to invest the time needed to properly tame your pet. If you’re more interested in something that you can leave alone and simply watch and observe, there are lizards that definitely prefer that type of lifestyle.


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  1. What Lizard Is Right For You? Things to Consider When Deciding - Part I
  2. Human Impact on Reptile Populations around the World - Part 1
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Human Impact on Reptile Populations around the World - Part 1


endangered Phillipines Panang m

Reptile populations in different parts of the world fluctuate naturally. They are also impacted by other factors. The primary contributors to reptile populations are humans and climate. Everything from collection of reptiles to loss of habitat due to development plays a part in man’s role in affecting reptile populations. And climate change is having unexpected results on reptiles and their ability to adapt to changes in temperature and conditions. Taking a closer look at what impacts reptiles can give us a clearer understanding of how and why their numbers may decline.

Human Interference

Animal populations have changed and declined dramatically in the last century, and reptiles are no exception. Man has been the largest contributing factor to the decline in numbers of different species. Though many would expect to find decline in wildlife populations in areas that have been developed and that are close in proximity to humans, but what may surprise you is that humans have an impact on populations that live in areas of wilderness far removed from cities and civilization. There are many factors that affect reptiles’ ability to thrive, both close to and far from man’s backyard.

Collection and Elimination by Humans

endangered Phillipines Panang m

Many reptiles are increasingly popular. Many are caught and used in the illegal import and export of exotic animals as pets. Often these pets end up in the hands of unwitting owners who don’t understand the demands of their new pet, resulting in death of the animal. In addition to use as pets, reptiles are also used for food and for laboratory experiments, as well as in the fashion industry for their skin.

Many reptiles are also increasingly unpopular. Wide varieties of snakes are feared and are killed out of this fear. Often, due to ignorance on the part of exotic pet owners, reptiles are unwanted and are released into the wild instead of relocated properly. This creates population problems in some areas. An example of this is the huge population of pythons in Florida wetlands, which creates a dangerous environment for humans, who in turn seek to hunt down and kill members of this species.

Introducing non-native species into a new area creates problems not just for the new species, but also for the native species. The new arrivals often compete with the native reptiles for food, and can also end up using the natives as prey. Additionally, non-natives can introduce foreign bacteria and disease that native reptiles have no defense from, resulting in death for a large number of resident reptiles. In the extreme these issues can result in extinction of reptiles native to an area where non-native reptile species have been introduced. An example of this is the introduction of cane toads in Australia. This has threatened many species - reptile and mamal, who decide to prey on them and find them extremely poisonous and often deadly.




Healthy Habitat - 1 gallonHealthy Habitat - 1 gallon

Natural Chemistry's Healthy Habitat is specifically formulated to effectively eliminate odors and soiling caused by organic animal and food waste.

For use in any pet habitat, glass and other surfaces within habitat ie: heat rocks, gravel, artificial plants etc.  Safe for use on all strong animal/reptile odor sources and stains, can even be used when pet is in it's habitat!

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Enzyme Technology
Natural Chemistry’s products are inspired by processes that occur in the natural world. Our patented technology uses trillions of natural enzymes and co-enzymes to break down undesirable organic materials safely and effectively...resulting in a healthier pet environment.

Feature Video

Ball Python Laying Eggs

If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Global Exotics disgrace (Warning - this does contain some graphics images)

Good news for some

Mekong Delta reptiles under threat

Mutant bubble bursts

Coitus interruptus ignorus


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Get Paid to write an article

Keeping Reptiles will pay you to write and article. Ideally it will be 500-1500 words. These can be care sheets, funny stories, herp hunting trips, hints and tips or anything herp related.

Payment will be based on the number of words and published at editors discretion.

Tell Us What You Think!!

We would love to hear what you think of this (or any other) issue of Keeping Reptiles.

And of course, if you have any suggestions, photos, links, care sheets or whatever for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

These could also include:

  • Great herp web-sites
  • Why you pet reptile is fantastic
  • Funny things that happened
  • Dumb**s things that happened
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Remember - there are lots of people who would love to hear your stories. Just e-mail me at: Reptile-Cage-Plans

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