Berlengas Wall Lizard
Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis
Nuno Barros

The Berlengas wall lizard is a subspecies endemic to the Berlengas archipelago. The species, Carbonell´s wall lizard is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and occurs along the Atlantic coastline south of the Douro river, as well as in some upland areas in the centre of Portugal. The Berlengas wall lizard differs from the mainland conspecifics by its larger size (particularly males) and darker belly. The larger size of Berlengas wall lizards is a common phenomenon in reptiles that evolved in small and isolated islands, and results from greater sexual competition among males due to the usually larger population densities.

In Berlengas, the lizard is present in Berlenga Island, Estelas and Farilhões. In Berlenga Island its distribution covers almost the whole island and it is very common and abundant, reaching 2000 to 4000 individuals per hectare depending on the time of year. However, due to predation and destruction of natural vegetation by the large increase of Yellow-legged gulls, the population of Berlengas wall lizard has decreased significantly in the last decades.