A NEW species of lizard has been discovered in sand dunes outside Perth but scientists fear it faces extinction with urban sprawl rapidly closing in.
The six-centimetre-long Ctenotus ora, or the coastal plains skink, was found by Australian National University ecologist Geoffrey Kay and colleague Scott Keogh during research on biological diversity in southwestern Australia, AAP reports.
Mr Kay said it was a fantastic discovery, but warned that urban encroachment could wipe the species out.
The small stretch of sand the brown and white skink called home was steadily being concreted, he said.
"Our new lizard is under serious risk of being erased just as suddenly as it appeared to us," Mr Kay said.