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A ruggedly beautiful island that provides access to numerous habitats and exceptional biological diversity.
The Lizard Island Research Station provides all the necessary facilities for a successful, safe and exciting field trip.
Lizard Island is a granite continental island with an extensive fringing reef, numerous patch reefs and magnificent beaches. It is an excellent location for safe snorkelling and boating activities. The diversity of marine life is enormous with hundreds of species of corals and over a thousand species of fishes. Very low tides occur during winter and these allow opportunities for reef-walking.
The island is relatively large (seven square kilometres in size) and has a variety of non-reef habitats. Of particular interest are the mangrove communities, dry sclerophyll woodlands, and sand dune successions. By walking up to the peak of the island at Cook's Look (360 metres elevation), students can encounter a variety of landforms from exposed steep granite slopes with swamps at the base, through woodlands to the summit with its stunted heath vegetation.
The presence of reptiles and birds on the island has been recorded since Captain Cook's visit in 1770. The large goanna for which Cook named the island is one of 12 species of lizard on Lizard Island. There are also five species of snake and two species of tree frog. The only mammals on the island (apart from humans) are two species of bat.
About 10 species of bush birds are resident on Lizard Island, as well as numerous seabirds. Many migratory birds pass through, and regular visits are made by others. Nesting colonies of seabirds are established on nearby Bird Islet, and Osprey Islet. These include terns, gulls, reef herons, osprey and sea eagles. Ample reference material is available in the Station's library for identification of the fauna of Lizard Island.