THE weather is warming up, and so are many cold-blooded creatures that may have spent their time in hiding during the cooler months.
As well as cold-blooded creatures emerging from their slumbers, during the warmer seasons, people are more likely to spend their time adventuring outdoors.
This is why local ecologists are presenting a call to arms to the people of Bathurst; to be on the lookout for the Bathurst Grassland Earless Dragon, which is named as such as this particular species is not found anywhere else in the world.
The dragon is a small lizard characterised by its lack of visible ears, with an average length of 7cm and is a dark brown or reddish colour, with white stripes.
Due to urbanisation and changes in weather patterns, it's difficult to know whether these lizards still exist.
The earless dragons haven't been spotted since the 1990's, and as a result have been listed as critically endangered.
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Local Independent wildlife ecologist George Madani said his wish for the people of Bathurst was to encourage them to develop a sense of pride over the species.
"Most people don't even know they exist ... we just want local people to be aware of them," he said.
This is why he created an online initiative, in the form of a social media campaign, to raise awareness regarding the potential presence of earless dragons.
"We've created an alliance ... just to put some facts out there and garner some interest from the local community," Mr Madani said.
"The more people who know about the earless dragons, the more chances we have to find them, and that can make all the difference."
For Mr Madani, his hope is that residents acknowledge the honour that comes with having a completely native Bathurst species, and thus spend their time searching for the lizards as they could still be present in the area.
"They're quite cryptic and they're often hard to find, in a few instances there have been several years between sightings so they could be holding on," he said.
"To have something that is only found where you live and nowhere else on the planet, I think that's pretty cool and I hope that's something people can get behind.
"At the end of the day, my dream is to have a local kids sporting team named after the earless dragons," Mr Madani said.
Like Mr Madani, senior officer with the Central Tablelands Local Land Services Allan Wray also has hope that the species is still out there.
This is why the Local Land Services have put together an action plan, to prompt members of the Bathurst community to search for the dragons.
"At the very basic level, we want people to be on the lookout for them and if you're on the land and you see a lizard just take a photo and send it into the land services so we can see if it's an earless dragon," Mr Wray said.
Though reptiles and lizards may not be the first thing people think of in terms of endangered species, Mr Wray said that the species is beautifully unique.
"When people think of threatened species, they tend to think of cute fluffy animals, but there are so many endangered animals [including the dragons], that are cute in their own way," he said.
For Mr Wray, the search is about ensuring that the dragons can persist in nature for future generations to enjoy.
"That's why we have to try and see whether these guys [earless dragons] are still out there."
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