Raising awareness about the issues that cause population declines in lizards is important, as these creatures are very beneficial to people! Lizards act as natural ''bug catchers'' and ''pest control'' as they prey on a huge array of insects and invertebrates. Some lizards will even eat rodents. These traits benefit humans, as insect and rodents populations can destroy crops and spread diseases when left unchecked. Lizards help keep them in balance.
Lizards such as the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) produces toxins which are being used for medical treatments. For example, the Gila Monster toxin reduces plasma glucose; the substance is now synthesised for use in the anti-diabetes drug exenatide (Casey, Constance 2013). Another toxin from Gila monster saliva has been studied for use as an anti-Alzheimer's drug. This is another example of how lizards are helping humans.
Lizards are also helping people stay safe from ticks and lyme disease. According to Your Central Coast (2017), the Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis ) has a certain protein in their blood that kills the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease. Cal Poly professor Emily Taylor is the director of Physiological Ecology of Reptiles Lab at the university. She said that it is not just the western fence lizard; locally, it also includes other species like alligator lizards.“They possess an immune protein in their blood that appears to kill the bacteria that causes Lyme disease," Taylor said. "This condition is significant because of the juvenile stages of the major vector for the disease, the western black-legged tick, often feed on lizards. If the ticks are previously infected, then eating the lizard's blood will kill all the bacteria, and they won't be able to pass it on to the next host when they are adults.” In other words, our local lizards appear to be cleansing affected juvenile ticks and providing all of us a service. This is probably the primary reason why so few adult ticks carry the bacteria along the Central Coast and consequently there's a relatively low infection rate in California.
Aside from their usefulness to humans, lizards also deserve conservation and protection due to their intrinsic value.