Endangered pygmy bluetongue lizards threatened by climate change have been given a new home on a South Australian farm to test their adaptability.
The tiny lizards predominantly live on sheep grazing land and are unique to the state's mid-north.
The population is under increasing threat due to habitat limitations and a warming climate which is making their environment drier.
Scientists have set up a large enclosure further south, about 90km north of Adelaide, where they recently released 52 lizards.
"Modelling indicates these lizards are in danger of extinction in around 50 years' time due to climate change," associate professor at Flinders University and lead researcher Mike Gardner said.
"We need to know how to re-establish them further south, where temperatures are predicted to be cooler and will match the conditions they evolved in."
The lizards, which usually live in wolf and trapdoor spider burrows, have been given wooden burrows.
They'll be monitored over five years and have their weight and basking habitats closely monitored via cameras.
"If that all goes well, we'll take up the enclosures and let them survive in the landscape," Prof Gardner said.
The relocated lizards are from Kapunda and Burra, with their new home familiar in climate to some but not others.
Prof Gardner says their biggest risk is predators, particularly birds of prey.
The pygmy bluetongue was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1992.
The project is the culmination of almost 30 years of investigation by Prof Gardner's team and previous expansive lizard research.