Every bit of help is welcome when controlling exotic species—at least we have a few exotics eating others. Domestic cats are obvious predatory exotics here in BC, whether they’re fattened pets out prowling for even more food or feral and eating just to survive.

    Domestic chickens (Gallus gallus) also eat whatever they can catch, so any stray lizard wandering into a chicken run had better run really fast. Do chickens care if wall lizards taste like chicken?

    House sparrows (Passer domesticus) are known to eat hatchling common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis), and now we can add the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) to the list of exotic species eating common wall lizards too.

    This European starling has a taste for exotic food, photographed by Jeremy Gatten, May 30, 2018, in Central Saanich.

    Now I find myself in a funny spot. I like lizards, but I don’t like invasive species. Yet I find myself rooting for an invasive species because it is eating wall lizards.

    Dr. Gavin Hanke

    Natural History

    Curator of Vertebrate Zoology

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